Not just content to open for NOFX and Bad Religion on their upcoming Australian tour, Californian punks Pour Habit are staging their own headline gigs to show the masters how it’s done. Daniel Clarke caught up with drummer Colin Walsh in the midst of a serious firestorm in his hometown to find out more about the band.
Music Feeds: How are you doing?
Colin Walsh: I’m doing very well, watching my city burn.
MF: Woah. I heard the Governator saying the fires were a bit of a concern.
CW: Yeah, he just cut all the firefighter’s pay and now he’s going to go out and give ’em a handshake.
MF: Politicians, don’t you just love them? So is it coming anywhere near you?
CW: There’s some fires thirty miles east. At night you can actually see the fires. In the day, the sky is red from all the smoke.
MF: Damn. Now, what’s going on with Pour Habit at the moment? Have you guys started touring with Bad Religion and NOFX yet?
CW: The tour starts in about two and a half weeks. We get in on the 2nd of September and play a little sideshow that night. We’re ready to go.
MF: Do you guys get jetlagged?
CW: Nothing a couple of little bottles can’t fix. We’re pretty excited. It’s a rough flight, eighteen hours or something, but I’m not complaining.
MF: It’s the band’s first trip to Oz right? Have you been touring overseas at all or just in the US so far?
CW: Well, we hooked up with Fat Wreck Chords and we got taken on a pretty amazing tour with NOFX and the Flatliners. We went to Europe and did Ireland and France and the UK. Then we came back and hooked up with No Use For A Name and they were kind enough to get us on that tour at the last minute. So then we did Canada and thirteen US shows. That’s what we’ve done so far. We’re pretty new to this, but we’re definitely ready to go.
MF: You guys have come into it quite quickly, all of a sudden doing tours. Has it been a bit of a shock, taken some getting used to?
CW: In a way yeah, but you have to realise we’ve been doing this for a while. We’ve sacrificed a lot. You see how a lot of bands break up and why they don’t last – it’s really been through our strength as friends, we’re like a family. It’s great to be taking off. We feel honoured and really lucky to be playing with these great bands. You try not to be star struck, then you kinda get used to it. On every level, a show is a show; you’ve gotta go out and have fun with it. You can get jaded with these huge shows, thinking it’s such a big deal, but really we just wanna have fun and make awesome music, and it shows. The crowd can see that. So yeah it’s a shock to the system but we remember what we’re doing it for.
MF: Is there still quite a strong punk scene in California? Was it hard to get a start in that kind of environment?
CW: Southern Cali is tough. The reason it’s tough is because of traffic. Like, if you’re playing Hollywood on a Friday night – people get off work at five, they wanna go home and chill. Then from 7-9 it’s pre-drinks. So if you’re playing at 8pm in Hollywood you’re hard-pressed to get people to come out and fight traffic to see the show. There’s not really such a scene anymore. There are so many scenes now. We did the Warped tour and there’s like Emo, Screamo, Punk, Crunk Electronica – like what’s going on? There’s a lot of good bands out here though.
MF: Would you say you guys fit into any one scene in particular?
CW: If we were in one scene we’d probably be in… It’s hard to say… I guess it’s the punk scene.
MF: So what kind of live show do you bring? Full of energy?
CW: That’s one thing I can guarantee. Anyone who comes to the Pour Habit show will remember the Pour Habit show. We have so much fun up there and you can see it. We do these shows with a thousand people and we don’t even have a set list. We’re more concerned with like, is there booze on stage and things like that. It’s friends up there, so me and Charles will start making fun of each other. It’s a good time.
MF: Of all the tours you’ve done so far, what’s been the most memorable for you?
CW: I’d have to say Europe. We went from playing every Friday and Saturday night, practicing two to three times a week. There wasn’t any time to quit, then they were like “ok you guys are going to Europe.” We were really unprepared. It was good though. Ireland, one of the best places I’ve been to. Then accidentally setting off a fire alarm in Newcastle and getting the hotel evacuated at 3:30 in the morning… That was good.
MF: I was reading that you guys have a bunch of songs written for the new record. Will you be playing those songs live?
CW: When we got back from Europe we went into a little rehearsal studio and started writing new music. We were planning on recording some stuff but we decided to push it back because we weren’t going to release it for a while. But we have fifteen new songs; I’m really excited about them. It’s a big step musically but it still keeps what we’re about. We haven’t changed into anything that we’re not. We didn’t go on the Warped tour and then think “oh we’ve got to start playing like these guys cos this is what’s popular now.”