Interview with Shame guitarist Eddie Green By Thomas Pizzola | Individual Band Blurbs By New Noise Staff | Photo: Shame
Attendees at this year’s Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas are in for a treat, as they will witness the festival debut of U.K. post-punks Shame. The highly touted quintet from South London have been garnering raves and building buzz since the release of their first full-length album, Songs of Praise, on Dead Oceans back in January 2018. All this praise is well-deserved, as Songs of Praise is an auspicious debut, marking the arrival of a major new talent.
By the time they reach the PRB stage, Shame will have already made their debut at a little fest known as Coachella in April, as well as the Boston Calling Music Festival on Saturday, May 25. No big deal. The band—who include vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist Josh Finerty, and drummer Charlie Forbes—are a can’t-miss live act, delivering passionate, energetic, sweat-soaked sets no matter what stage they end up on. In this case, they’ll be playing the Main Stage on Monday, May 27, at 4:45 p.m., right before punk rock luminaries The Undertones, The Stranglers, The Hives, and The Specials. Expect them to more than hold their own with these respected bands and, more than likely, gain a bunch of new fans amongst those in attendance.
With Shame’s Punk Rock Bowling debut imminent, Green offered his thoughts on the band’s debut album, touring the States, playing Vegas, the status of the follow-up to Songs of Praise, and more!
Were you surprised at the overall positive reactions to Songs of Praise when it was released last year?
The reaction to Songs of Praise exceeded our expectations for sure. To have charted in the U.K. was particularly wild.
You’re coming over to the States for Punk Rock Bowling. What do you like about touring the U.S.? Is there anything you look forward to?
Touring the U.S. is always a guaranteed rollercoaster of extremely strange local laws, vast arrays of Reese’s products available, and unrivaled enthusiasm. We look forward to all of these in equal measure.
You’ll be in Las Vegas for PRB. Do you plan to soak up any of the local flavor? Possibly hit the slots or take in a show?
I think we’re all looking forward to seeing what Vegas has to offer. I’m gonna buy a $5 cigar and insert a maximum of $8 into a slot machine—make sure someone captures it on camera, so I look like a high roller. Other than that, gambling terrifies me.
In general, what do you like most about touring? Is there anything you don’t care for?
Getting to see new towns and new people from all over the world is cool. You meet a few weirdos, but we always feel richer for the experience. If you’re a weirdo and you wanna hang out with us, we’ll always give you the time of day. I don’t much care for airports, however.
Are you looking forward to playing with the other bands at Punk Rock Bowling?
PRB has a pretty special lineup. I couldn’t quite believe it at first. We can’t wait to see The Damned, The Undertones, and more. So much respect to them for still hitting the festival circuit this far into their careers.
When you go on tour, what are some things you can’t live without?
Face wipes have become an essential part of touring, particularly in sticky climates. To a certain extent, it can replace a shower, which, of course, one does not always have the luxury of on the road.
Have you started working on the follow-up to Songs of Praise? Is that coming soon?
Album two is very much in the works. We have been furiously laying down new ideas in Josh’s attic and are about to go up to rural Scotland for a writing retreat. Keep your eyes peeled for it. It’s gonna have a crunchy buzz.
ALSO MAKING THEIR PUNK ROCK BOWLING DEBUT THIS YEAR…
Vegas won’t look like a “Ghost Town” when two-tone ska greats The Specials take the PRB Vegas stage for the first time ever! This year marks the 40th anniversary of the band’s formation and of their legendary label, 2 Tone Records, and they just released their first new album in 37 years, Encore, in February. The Specials invented two-tone, spearheaded the British ska revival of the ‘70s, encapsulated a national mood with their self-titled 1979 debut, and inspired a generation and beyond with their perfect blend of style and social activism. What could be more special?!
They’re the best-dressed, hardest-rocking Swedish export this side of Refused—”Go Right Ahead” and suit up, because The Hives are here! Known for putting on an incredible live show, The Hives have stated that they hope to “bring fans to orgasm” and make listeners “love them and hate them at the same time.” This is their very first time gracing the PRB stage, so don’t miss these sharp-dressed Swedish showmasters, because we’d “Hate To Say I Told You So” when they destroy the place!
Part of the burgeoning punk scene alongside, though rarely noted in the same breath as Ramones and Sex Pistols, The Stranglers have had an extremely colorful and successful 40-year career. The Brits’ sound is more multilayered than traditional three-chord punk, exemplified by their biggest hit, “Golden Brown,” which employs a waltz-like time signature. But lest you think of them as too ‘serious’ of artists, they picked a fight with The Clash, taped a journalist to the Eiffel Tower, toured in an ice cream truck, and were arrested for inciting a riot! They’ll keep things “Nice ’n’ Sleazy” with their PRB debut!
Formed in L.A. in 1977, the original bad boys of California hardcore punk, FEAR, just passed the 40-year mark. Have a beer with FEAR and celebrate their first-ever PRB appearance—if you can fucking believe it! Better yet, original members guitarist Philo Cramer and drummer Split Stix are back in the fold behind legendary vocalist Lee Ving. They may have been banned from “Saturday Night Live” in 1981, but it takes a lot more debauchery to get banned from PRB—just don’t cheat a bowling and you’ll be fine, guys!
Oi! stalwarts Perkele have been leading the charge for working-class punks in their native Sweden since 1993, and 2019 marks their official PRB debut! Their new album, Leaders of Tomorrow, was just released in January, so longtime fans can expect to hear some new hits alongside their well-loved favorites. Brace yourself for some true “Rebel Rock ‘n’ Roll!”
L-I-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N-S! Say it with us! These legendary Wyoming pop punkers came up worshipping The Queers, Ramones, and Screeching Weasel. Their 1999 album, Death By Television, was an instant pop punk classic, and their lyrical fodder—from aliens to ape men to zombies—is all their own. Now, they are finally gifting us with a performance at PRB!
In the mood for a bit of the old ultraviolence? Heavily influenced by Oi! greats like The Last Resort and Vice Squad—with whom they put out a split in 2017—The Droogettes released their first LP, Clockwork Girls, in 2018 on Violated Records. These Philly ladies are bringing their Kubrickian theatrics to PRB for the first time, and it’s sure to be a real horrorshow debut!
The Darts are spooky enough that, in just three years, they’ve toured with The Damned, gained a fan in Stephen King, and crafted an album, I Like You But Not Like That, produced by Jello Biafra and released on his label, Alternative Tentacles. The Phoenix-based quartet’s heady mix of ‘60s psych, garage, and horror punk is gonna make their PRB debut “The Cat’s Meow!”
THE RADIATOR RATTLERS
Hold On to your butts! Massachusetts eight-piece The Radiator Rattlers are checking a lot of bags as they make their way to debut at PRB this year, packing everything from a washboard and a lap steel to a melodica—and a kazoo, of course! They’ll be bringing the ruckus to rattle the rafters with a kitchen-sink sound that is as much punk rock as it is country.
DIRK VERMIN & THE HOSTILE TALENT
The Man. The Myth. It’s Dirk Vermin! A local legend in Vegas as both frontman of The Vermin and owner of Pussykat Tattoo Parlour, Vermin now leads The Hostile Talent. Their debut album, Sweet Dreams (From the Gutter), was just released last year via SquidHat Records, and they’re comin’ to PRB for the first time to teach the younguns all about classic, no-frills punk.
L.A. street punkers Informal Society sing songs like “I Wanna Fuck,” “Self Destructiveness,” “Fuck Authority,” and “Don’t Get Caught”—so we’re sure they’re nice, well-behaved young men you’ll wanna take home to mom! Making their PRB debut, they’re gonna start Saturday off with a bang and warm up the circle pit for you. Doesn’t sound like a Recipe for Disaster to us!
When people mused that our current political climate may inspire some good punk rock, PRB newcomers Total Massacre answered the call. Influenced by Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Dead Kennedys, the L.A. quartet serve up politically-challenging circle pit hardcore with UK82 muscularity. Their records should come with a best-of compilation of Nazis getting punched.
Washington, D.C., 11-piece The Pietasters formed with the simple intention of having fun and playing some local basement shows and house parties, but in the process, they created a mix of ska, hardcore, punk, and Motown that became the perfect elixir to bring all the punx, mods, and skins together—then, they got caught in the ‘90s ska revival and ended up touring the world. Hey, it happens! They even once served as James Brown’s backing band, so you know they’re here to bring the party with their first-ever PRB Vegas performance. Looks like we’re gonna be “Out All Night!”
If it suddenly seems like everything you touch is wet and sticky, don’t panic—that just means Sloppy Seconds have finally made it to PRB! Indianapolis’ foremost sleaze-drenched junk-rock devotees are ready to serve up a heaping helping of Vegas debauchery. With an abiding love for all things gross, stupid, loud, and alcoholic—and the Ramones, of course—Sloppy Seconds have been holding it down for the lost boys of punk rock since they formed, possibly accidentally, in the mid ‘80s. We urge you not to miss this set, but whether you stand in the splash zone is up to you!
Many of our rights may be imperiled at the moment, but at least we still have the right to choose to watch The Coathangers destroy the PRB stage for the first time ever! Known for writing unapologetically irreverent political and feminist anthems since their formation in 2006, these Atlanta garage punk darlings just released their latest album, The Devil You Know, in March via Suicide Squeeze, integrating moments of jangly bubblegum pop and dark-psych while tackling subjects from the NRA to catcalling. It’s officially a Nosebleed Weekend, and it’s only Sunday!
Skaboom! The Toasters have been crafting classic third-wave New York City ska since 1981, but this year marks their debut appearance at Punk Rock Bowling. It’s a legit “Shocker!” With their founding vocalist and guitarist Robert “Bucket” Hingley and a revolving door of the most talented soldiers enlisted in the “2-Tone Army,” the band have run right through the world, spreading the gospel of the dance floor for decades. Now, The Toasters are ready to heat things up in Vegas! Let your hair down, put on your dancin’ shoes, and Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down.
Ravagers! Come out and play-aaay! A self-described “rock ‘n’ roll gang from the wastelands of Baltimore,” this leather-clad, stud-covered quartet will do just that, bringing their fingerless gloves and songs of urban decay to PRB for the first time. One part 1970s New York grime rock and one part ‘80s action-horror street thug aesthetic, Ravagers are the kind of band you don’t wanna meet in a dark alleyway. Leave your switchblades at home, kids!
A “Good Time Is Callin’ Loud,” and that call is coming from PRB newcomers Faz Waltz. Ferchisakes, accept the charges! A little bit AC/DC and Cheap Trick, a little bit T. Rex and Slade, and a little bit Gary Glitter and David Bowie, this Italian trio are a whole Double Decker of glam rock perfection. They’ll have you “Shakin’ Like a Hooligan” before the night is through!
Madé J. lives on the island of Bali, owns his own bar, and plays fuzzed-out, rockabilly-inspired rock ‘n’ roll with grooves to spare. That’s a ridiculously sweet life. So, what do you get for the guy who has everything? His very first PRB set, of course! Commanding the mic like a “Proud Rooster,” with Tiger Blood running through his veins, this one-of-a-kind rocker is a must-see!
We’re drawing a “Line in the Sand”—if you don’t show up early to catch the PRB debut of Chicago punk ‘n’ rollers Mystery Actions, you’re fuckin’ up! With a tough aesthetic and even tougher sound, this lethal quartet have been slinging ‘70s punk grit directly into the eyes and ears of their Windy City peers since 2012. Brace yourself for the “Mass Hysteria!”
JAIL CITY ROCKERS
What do you get when you mix ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll, ‘60s R&B, ‘70s punk rock, and ‘80s hardcore, then add a dash of Oi! and a pinch of ska? You get a recipe for “Trouble” in the form of new PRB recruits Jail City Rockers! Striving to do “something old in a brand-new way,” this Ogden, Utah, foursome urge you to “Think smart, dress sharp, and always stay a rebel!”—and “That’s That.”
THE SPLIT SECONDS
Coming outta D.C., The Split Seconds bring together the best elements of punk’s past in their tight-as-hell melodic pop punk sound. Hints of The Clash, Green Day, Ramones, Buzzcocks, and The Damned bolster odes recounting their frustration with contemporary society and scene politics alike. Miss this debut set and prepare to find yourself on the “Punk Rock Blacklist!”
MAID OF ACE
Maid Of Ace are four sisters who were Maid in England and have been playing pissed-off, adrenaline-fueled punk rock ‘n’ roll since they were high schoolers. Their high-energy debut on the Punk Rock Bowling stage is sure to leave you “Spittin’ Blood” and earn them a legion of well-deserved new fans. Just don’t act like a “Dickhead” or they’ll have to kick your ass!
Out of the ashes of The Staggers, Dallas’ Dog Party play traditional, no-frills punk rock that seeks to tear down the broken institutions that surround us. With short, punchy Songs of Discontent that cut straight to the heart of grimy political realities, it may seem as though they’re all business, but these PRB virgins also love to party. Come have a beer with them!
You may remember Suzi Moon from the Hellcat Records “femme fatale punk rock” band Civet, but her punk ‘n’ roll trio with a seedy Sunset Strip vibe, Turbulent Hearts, are just as much of a force to be reckoned with. Doomed to lead a rebellious rock lifestyle from an early age, Moon snarls like the true genre vet she is. We’ve “Fallen in Luv” with these PRB newcomers, and you will too!
When these Isle of Wight throwback punks got together in 2013, they mostly paid tribute to their English forebears by covering bands such as The Stranglers, The Jam, and Booze & Glory, but Grade 2 soon chose to Break the Routine by writing their own songs railing against social ills and celebrating the power of Oi! “All I Know” is that you don’t wanna miss their debut PRB set!
This may be The Drowns’ first time at Punk Rock Bowling, but fest-goers will already be familiar with Seattle scene vet Rev, whose band Success have played many a PRB set. Also featuring members of Time Again, Shell Corporation, and Madcap, The Drowns’ catchy melodic punk rock aims to keep you dancing while offering a View From the Bottom with their socially aware lyrics.
Also making their PRB debut are the bilingual quartet Auxiliӧ from L.A. These hardcore firebrands crush, pummel, and growl their way through blistering, one- to two-minute songs that tackle subjects such as political and corporate corruption, societal decay, and personal strife with lyrics in both English and Spanish. Show up early and create some “Future Memories!”
The Heiz are a legendary punk ‘n’ roll power trio from Tokyo, and though it’s their first time at PRB, they’re no strangers to the joys of Las Vegas! They just released a new album, The Gun, on SquidHat Records, and they’re eager to get you shaking your ass with songs like “Dr. Rock N Roll,” “Taco Mambo,” and their cover of The Shangri-Las’ “Remember (Walking in the Sand).”