Since the release of their 2014 self-titled debut, The Interrupters have split their time between touring with the likes of The English Beat and Bad Religion and cranking out new material that shows off their irrepressible sensibility. So when the time came to record their sophomore album Say It Out Loud, the L.A.-based ska-punk four-piece hit the studio with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and fired off 14
new songs that both capture their frenetic energy and reveal a whole new level of boldness in their songwriting. Undeniably fun but urgent in message, Say It Out Loud finds The Interrupters backing their 2-Tone-tinged, guitar-fueled yet melody-heavy sound with lyrics that confront everything from social control and self-empowerment to domestic violence and the media circus surrounding the next presidential election.
the past couple years we got to know ourselves so much better as a band, and
that gave us a lot of room to really grow on this album,” notes frontwoman Aimee
Interrupter, whose bandmates include guitarist Kevin Bivona, bassist Justin Bivona, and drummer Jesse Bivona. Produced by Armstrong and recorded partly at his studio (as well as at Travis Barker’s Opra Studios), Say It Out Loud achieved its vital feel thanks to what
Kevin describes as a “totally organic, GMO-free process” that relied on raw live performance. True to The Interrupters’ unabandoned passion and personal-meets-political dynamic, the album kicks off with “By My Side,” a fist-pumping but tender tribute to outcast solidarity (sample lyric: “After all the stupid things we
did/Our hearts are still beating”). The band keeps it intimate and openhearted on songs like “On a Turntable,” whose snarling guitar riffs and growling vocals pay homage to the life-saving power of music. “‘On a Turntable’ is partly about how whether things are good or bad in your life, there’s always a song for what you’re going through,” Kevin points out. Meanwhile, on tracks like “She Got Arrested” (a gritty look at the impact of domestic abuse) and “Jenny Drinks” (a painfully detailed glimpse into the realities of addiction), The Interrupters shift perspective and bring some unforgettably poignant storytelling to their songwriting. Throughout Say It Out Loud, The Interrupters also embed fiery social commentary into their lyrics, with “Babylon” calling on the people to “conquer the system of control” and “Media Sensation” tearing apart media-controlled
narratives. Another fierce meditation on media responsibility, “Phantom City” has
Armstrong lending his vocals to a darkly charged take on today’s constantly-plugged-in culture. And rounding out Say It Out Loud are a batch of feel-good
songs proving The Interrupters’ unstoppably upbeat spirit, from “The Prosecutor” (“a song about good conquering evil,” according to Aimee) to “The Valley” (a bouncing ode to the band’s homeland) to “You’re Gonna Find a Way Out” (a rowdy anthem inspired by The Specials’ “A Message to You, Rudy” and featuring Less Than Jake’s Chris DeMakes, Roger Lima, Peter “JR” Wasilewski, and Buddy Schaub).
Perfectly imperfect - that’s one way to describe LA based punk act, The Regrettes. Writing songs that proudly bear a brazen and unabashed attitude in the vein of acts Courtney Barnett or Karen O - with a pop aesthetic reminiscent of 50’s and 60’s acts a la the Temptations or Buddy Holly - the LA based four piece create infectious, punk driven tracks.
Lead by outspoken frontwoman, Lydia Night, and comprised of Genessa Gariano on guitar, Sage Nicole on bass and drummer Maxx Morando, the group have left the LA rock scene floored, managing to capture the hearts of jaded rock critics while opening for acts like Kate Nash, Jack Off Jill, Bleached, Pins, Deep Vally and more. With nothing but demos available online, the group are already beginning to generate hype, from outlets like NPR, and with NYLON already heralding them them as a “punk act you should be listening to”.
From the opening moments on a track by The Regrettes, we’re greeted with a wall of guitars, infectious melodies and a wistful nostalgia that continues right until the final notes. Taking cues from acts like Hinds and Hole, there’s a wistful sense of youth and vulnerability that lies at the heart of each song.
A song by The Regrettes is, essentially, a diary entry into Lydia’s life. “My music is a spectrum of every emotion that I have felt in the last year, and you can hear that when you hear the songs. Everything that is happening in my life influences me. It’s everything from boys, to friends, to being pissed off at people, to being really sad. Just everything.”
The most intoxicating draw of The Regrettes is their bashful, heart-on-your-sleeve temperament - writing urgent and fast-paced pop songs with a punk rock mentality. “The way that we write, it’s all based on honesty,” muses Lydia on the group’s punk aesthetic. “If I finish a song, I’ll just leave it - I won’t really go back to it. I like things to feel in the moment and I don’t want it to be perfect. If I work on something too much I lose it and get bored and I want to do the next one.”
First song, “A Living Human Girl,” best showcases the vulnerability of the group’s lyrics. Singing about a less than perfect complexion, a bra size that is considered smaller than most, and those little red bumps you get when you shave, The Regrettes aren’t afraid to embrace their imperfections. “Sometimes I’m pretty and sometimes I’m not”, sings Lydia over 60’s inspired guitar riffs and a kicked back drum beat. “I don’t remember exactly what sparked it, but I remember when I wrote those lyrics, I was just really angry.”
“There are times when you feel really insecure and you really don’t like yourself, so I wrote it for people who feel that and I wrote it for myself. I just felt like there wasn’t a song like that out there. A song that if I was feeling super shitty about myself, that I could listen to. I wanted something that would make girls and boys feel confident,” she explains.
Lydia’s not afraid to have her feelings on display. “I am not scared of anyone judging me, I don’t care. I don’t give a fuck if someone doesn’t like what I have to say. For every person that likes you, there’s a person that doesn’t like you. No matter what, if people can relate to the music then it’s worth it. That’s what is cool for me.” And at the end of the day, isn’t that what punk music is all about?