Heading into this year’s Warped Tour, The Interrupters was a band that really stood out for me from the start. They were super tight live including the vocal harmonies that are such an important part of their sound… at least in my opinion. They recently released their sophomore record Say It Out Loud which is the first album in 2016 that I’m putting my stamp on as a ‘Record Of The Year’ nominee! So yeah, it’s safe to say that I love this record. Produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong (AKA Tim Timebomb), their sound is authentic to the musical styles they represent and their lyrics are probably some of the best storytelling I’ve heard in a long time. If you are headed to any of the remaining Warped Tour dates make sure you note their set time!
THE INTERRUPTERS INTERVIEW
SONIC HIGHLARK: You guys are my favorite band of the whole Warped Tour.
AIMEE ALLEN (VOCALS // THE INTERRUPTERS): Woah!
KEVIN BIVONA (GUITARS // THE INTERRUPTERS):Us!? Thank you man, that means a lot.
SONIC: And I didn’t say this to every band (laughing).
AIMEE: Haha, that means a lot though thank you.
KEVIN:Dude, that’s so awesome!
SONIC: When I heard you guys for the first time I immediately said Hellcat Records. I didn’t know you were with them yet but seriously where else would you guys be with? It’s such a perfect fit I feel like?
KEVIN:When we first started recording our first record, Tim (Armstrong) was producing and collaborating with us and we were working on a bunch of stuff with him at the time. Then we got together to do this band he was involved and it was kind of always in the stars for us to be on Hellcat. Everything kind of fell into place from there. We’ve done all types of different music as individuals and even collectively. Before this band we were doing more Reggae or Rock-Steady or Rock’n Roll tracks and some of us played in a more traditional ska band. We flirted with every kind of thing around the genre and when we focused our energy it kind of ended up as a pretty quintessential Hellcat sound I’d say.
SONIC: There hasn’t been a Ska-wave like back in the mid 90s, and there are no apparent scenes for this type of music now, was it difficult to get noticed?
KEVIN: You know what though, there are. I didn’t realize it till I was playing and getting to open up for the Bosstones (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones) and there was a 3rd band on the bill from whatever town we were playing in and it was a rad Ska band. We played with 7 Seconds in San Antonio one time and this band The Bandulus came out and they do this Soul-Ska thing, so it’s out there. It hasn’t really bubbled up to the top of the bathtub yet but this kind of thing is always going to be happening. This type of music has been happening ever since punk rock started in the 70s and it never really went away.
JUSTIN BIVONA (BASS // THE INTERRUPTERS): It’s awesome.
AIMEE: It’s kind of timeless.
SONIC: For sure, you guys have an awesome sound.
AIMEE: Thank you!
SONIC: What are some very common interview questions you get asked?
KEVIN: What’s it like working with Tim (Armstrong)?
THE INTERRUPTERS: (laughs)
KEVIN: You want us to go there?
SONIC: Who’s Tim?
THE INTERRUPTERS: (laughs)
KEVIN: It’s awesome working with Tim.
SONIC: I don’t like to ask questions that you probably have heard so many times especially on a tour like this where you do several interviews a day.
AIMEE: Feel free to ask us anything!
KEVIN: Even if we’ve answered it a hundred times, if it’s new to whoever we’re talking to it doesn’t bother us. We’re just telling our story.
JESSE BIVONA (DRUMS // THE INTERRUPTERS): It’s like when people ask us if we’re twins (Justin and Jesse).
SONIC: I have a good question, can you guys tell who is who?
AIMEE: Sometimes. Usually Jesse has a little scruff and Justin is more clean shaven, and Justin is more of a neat freak.
SONIC: They also have different color sunglasses.
KEVIN:That helps a lot when we’re getting ready to go on stage.
AIMEE:That does, but now that they’ve both grown out their beards, I’m totally screwed.
SONIC: They may even switch the sunglasses to fuck with you.
JUSTIN: We can go like this (Justin and Jesse both remove their sunglasses).
AIMEE: Oh, I’d be so screwed.
JUSTIN AND JESSE: (laughs)
KEVIN: You guys should do that one day when you (Jesse) have the bass on and you’re (Justin) at the drums. That’ll be the ultimate April Fool’s joke.
SONIC: Yeah, if you guys switched instruments.
KEVIN: We’d sound a lot different.
AIMEE: But a bass and drum, twin rhythm section is kind of awesome.
SONIC: Oh, so how did you guys end up deciding who plays what?
JUSTIN: Well, the three of us (Kevin, Justin and Jesse) all grew up in the same house. He (Kevin) kind of gravitated towards guitar and then we always had a drum set in the house so he (Jesse) liked playing it. I just kind of picked up the bass and I love it.
KEVIN:It could have been a really unfortunate situation because he had to play the bass because I played guitar and he played drums, so if he didn’t like the bass I don’t know what we’d be doing right now. But he’s great at playing bass so…
AIMEE: The mom literally gave birth to an entire band.
SONIC: LA has a lot of cool music coming out of all different genres, do you notice that?
KEVIN:The thing is growing up there, there’s so much music that you really have to focus on the things you like and seek it out.
AIMEE: Because it has everything.
KEVIN: Yeah, there’s so much happening around you all the time so it’s really hard to take it in all at once. When we gravitated towards punk rock we knew when those shows were coming to town or when Warped Tour was coming to town.
SONIC: What are some music you guys listen to that people may not think you listen to?
KEVIN: Yeah, yeah, a ton of it. Go, twins.
JESSE: Beach Boys.
JUSTIN: Uhh Gin Blossoms.
KEVIN: I love the Gin Blossoms!
AIMEE: You toured with them.
JUSTIN: I toured with them but they’re awesome, their songs are great!
AIMEE: So music that we listen to that’s not punk or ska?
JUSTIN: Our dad was a trumpet player and our grandpa was a jazz musician and we took Jazz in high school so we grew up with jazz in the house.
AIMEE: I love Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, they’re my shit.
JUSTIN: Elliot Smith.
KEVIN: Louis Prima on Holidays.
AIMEE: Hell yeah, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra. We’re Italian so all that. I discovered some awesome bands here on Warped Tour like Emarosa, and a band called Sykes they’re really good.
SONIC: I’m going to interview Sykes next actually.
AIMEE: We love them.
KEVIN: Tell them The Interrupters say hi, we’re actually sharing a van with them.
SONIC: Lastly, or maybe I have 2 more but anyway ask me a question.
AIMEE: We get to ask you a question?
AIMEE: Who did your tattoos because I love them! Are they the same artist? Who did that one?
(Aimee points at my sleeve)
SONIC: I get them done in New York, usually the same shop, New York Adorned but this was Yoni Zilber. He specializes in Tibetan style art.
AIMEE: Dude that is dope!
KEVIN: That’s rad!
JUSTIN: The shading is fucking incredible.
AIMEE: It’s the coolest tattoo I have seen in a long time I need your tattoo artist!
SONIC: Besides the new record and Warped Tour what else is up for rest of the year?
KEVIN:We’re going to finish of this Warped Tour and we’re planning a headlining tour in the states.
SONIC: Awesome, you have to come to New York.
KEVIN:We’re definitely going to come to New York. In fact, I can tell you this now, only thing I can say is that we are playing Halloween night in NYC.
AIMEE: And I just found that out, minutes ago.
JESSE:We just found out while we were on stage.
KEVIN: We all just found that out. So that’s going to be exciting, and just play as many shows with these new songs from our record that just came out, Say It Out Loud.