The Broadsiders are calling it a day, all things must end... but not before one final interview with www.american-oi.com! I had a little chat with vocalist / rhythm guitarist Austin about The Broadsiders’ past ten years, the brand new album “All Things Must End” and what will happen next. Turned into a great read, so I hope you enjoy!
First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this interview! You must be busy in preparation of your final show / release party this upcoming weekend! How are things going?
Yep, we are definitely busy. With bringing Matt from Noi!se down to do an acoustic set of Stadium Way (and maybe some Noi!se songs…) and getting the show promoted and set up ourselves, on top of practicing old songs we haven’t played in years and sending out albums to the people that have supported us for the last decade, we are stretched a little thin, haha.
Isn’t it weird to have a release party of your brand new album “All Things Must End”, but the same show being your farewell as well?
Yes and no. We only recently decided this would be our last show, but I think we’ve seen this coming for awhile, so when we decided that this was the end, it just made sense. I can’t think of a better way to go out. It ties up everything well and gives even more of a reason to come party with us one last time. All things must end, and we are grateful to be able to choose the hour and manner.
Since this interview is partly about the new album and partly in honor of The Broadsiders’ ten years of service, it is kind of tough on what topic to address first. So for this question I want to go way back, to the days The Broadsiders were formed. At the time you started this band, did you had certain goals that you wanted to achieve as a band?
Well since Dan and I are the only ones left that have been there since the beginning, I’ll answer from our perspective. Our goals were only ever about writing music and playing. Getting popular or getting big shows were never goals – any of the shows and popularity we’ve had, we’ve been very grateful for.
As for the writing, we kind of tackled each album with a new thing we wanted to do. It was definitely simple at first – but our goals drove us to write progressively more complex songs. And we still have plenty of stuff we want to do in the future – so there are still more goals to reach.
Do you think you reached those goals?
With “All Things Must End”, we did. That’s why it’s a nice way to end things. Being able to take a giant leap forward in technical musicianship, writing the lyrics to an entire album as a story that not only follows your internal struggles but the external ones as well…there is definitely a feeling of closure when you can realize those kinds of achievements.
I wouldn’t call it a rocky road, but it is a fact that your first two albums were self-released. Did you think it took long, or perhaps too long, to finally get the recognition you deserved as a band? Or didn’t it feel like that?
They were self-released because we didn’t want to compromise. If you’ll recall, at the time there was no Oi! The Boat or half of the other labels that exist now. The labels that wanted to release the album at the time were not what we wanted, so we didn’t bite.
The lack of success was never a big deal for us – and realistically, it probably only helped us. The indifference gave us the space to explore the sound and sometimes even fueled us to write more complicated songs.
I ask this because nowadays it sometimes feels like that a band just have to release a fart on Bandcamp to get signed. Is it easier now to get a record out than it was ten years ago, or do you reckon releasing an album is still a hassle in general?
It definitely is easier, although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When bands get to release a record with a label, the whole package is usually a lot more professional, which in turn gives the band a reason to up their game. I think the music in general has increased in quality because of the number of labels around and their willingness to release albums. The pendulum might be swinging the other way, though – costs of vinyl have increased and labels are stretched thin with so many bands wanting to release an album. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing – bands will have to try a lot harder to impress labels and so the quality should go up.
Because it did took a while before the earlier released “Nothing Sacred” EP and your final epos, “All Things Must End”, finally came out, right? Did this perhaps had to do with the lack of promotion you could commit yourself to do, due to the upcoming demise of the band?
“Nothing Sacred” came out a year behind schedule because of plant issues. A&R Records – unfortunately here in our backyard in Dallas – delayed the release by 6 months and then what they delivered was unplayable on any record player. So we got with Contra to co-release with ::CADRE:: using Pirates Press and it was another 6 months – typical pressing time - until we received the final product. By the time we got everything to Contra, we were already recording “All Things” and playing shows with those songs, so “Nothing Sacred” got downplayed, unfortunately. This is why I can’t stress enough that going with a solid label and a solid pressing plant is vital. Vinyl takes around 6 months to press and get shipped to your door, so it’s crucial to get it right the first time. Pirates Press always gets it right.
I would say “All Things” was right on time. It was about 8 months by the time we were done with recording and artwork until we got the albums in hand – that’s about typical these days.
It definitely didn’t have to do with the demise of the band – like I said, we knew it would end but we didn’t know it would be right now. The cards just seemed more stacked against us – with “Nothing Sacred” being late and a Europe tour falling through, we just couldn’t get any traction. And that’s ok, we work our asses off on every album and we are proud of them regardless.
While we are on the subject, “All Things Must End” is without a doubt your finest work to date, it truly is extremely good! Accompanied by the sick artwork and ditto variations of colored vinyl the album is a worthy farewell to ten years of The Broadsiders. How do you look at this release?
We feel like this is the kind of album our uncompromising stance gives us. We put everything we had into this last one, and it took a chunk of our souls to accomplish, but it came out exactly as we wanted it to when we set out to do it 2 years ago. From the unconventional recording by Kitchen Studios to the artwork (done my Mike Fisher) to the awesome color variants that Mike from Pirates Press helped us realize – it all was a lesson in fighting an uphill battle and that hard work can overcome the bullshit life throws your way.
You stated to go out on the highest note possible. Do you really think this is the best you guys got? The sound on “All Things Must End” is unique, fresh but recognizable and sparks with energy, almost defining a new genre within Oi! music. It wasn’t interesting anymore to expand your horizons within an existing band?
When I say the highest note possible, I certainly don’t mean that we couldn’t keep writing this kind of music in this genre. We definitely could – but when we started thinking about the next album after “All Things”, it just wasn’t Broadsiders anymore. And instead of forcing it to be that band, we allowed ourselves to get excited about the prospect of something else – a different sound that we can define again. If we had tried to force it, who knows how much it would have cheapened “All Things” – and considering what we put into that album, that is the last thing we wanted to do. We were so happy with it, we killed The Broadsiders….if that makes any sense…
Do you think bands carry on for too long, playing a different tune but the same song over and over again? What is the worst example you can name?
Oh this definitely happens, all the time haha. And that’s ok – they get success out of a certain sound and I understand that it is a justifying and vindicating feeling to be able to rely on that sound that you’ve worked hard to achieve. Metallica and AC/DC come to mind right away, but there are hundreds of other examples. I think at some point you just don’t know any different – it would be difficult to change up the formula. We never had that, and that’s ok too.
In the opposite way, we didn’t want to be the band that always changed sounds but kept the name.
What will your plans be for the future? Will you guys continue to make music together, are there ideas or is there something in the works already? Listening to “All Things Must End” I reckon it will be more rock-related than anything else, but I might be wrong?
We’ve already started writing. It’s too early to tell what it will sound like, but it’s Broadsiders in spirit with lots of cool riffs and moving forward with that complex songwriting. But it is definitely going to be more metal, thrash and hardcore influenced.
Your final show is on the 7th of January, I write these questions on the 3rd and I hope to have this interview back before the show (no pressure), because I want to know how you think you will feel once you laid down your instruments for the last time this weekend?
I think it will feel surreal, honestly. We’ve been doing this for a decade – it’s difficult to imagine not doing it anymore. But, we have it luckier than most bands that end since we are going to keep playing together and we already have good ideas about what we are doing in the future. Plus, and this is an awesome thing about Oi! music, all of the good friends we have made are still our good friends.
Some quick questions to round this interview up. If you like you can explain your answer with one sentence.
I had each band member write a response. Trey didn’t respond – typical drummer!
- Favorite experience with The Broadsiders in the past ten years?
Austin: Playing the “All Things Must End” album in Seattle was definitely a highlight. That was the first time we really nailed it down and I was really happy with how it turned out.
Collin: Anytime we played with Noi!se, or maybe opening for Rancid.
Dan: I would say during our last Seattle (Tacoma) show, during the song “Tip of the Spear”. After the guitar solo, there is a short break down and then resumes gang vocals; the crowd started cheering then. It really stood out for me because they had never heard that song before (we hadn’t recorded it yet!). It was a great feeling to have everyone into a song that is our most progressive and different from our previous stuff.
- Least favorite experience with The Broadsiders in the past ten years?
Austin: The 100 times someone sucker-punched one of us when we are trying to load out.
Collin: Getting mild food poisoning courtesy of Taco Bell while on tour.
Dan: The time Trey got so drunk in Austin, TX when we played with the Beltones. We could barely get through a whole song. That was embarrassing!
- Craziest show you ever played with The Broadsiders in the past ten years?
Austin: There was a Templars show in Austin with a ton of fights and Phil was yelling at the crowd and then some cops accidentally pepper-sprayed the crowd. Or maybe the time a dude got his cheek bitten off…
Collin: Hands down the show we played with Noi!se in Tacoma back in 2010.
Dan: Probably the time we had White Flag Down from L.A. come down and play with us in Dallas. Some random people from out of town tried to get up on stage and play in between band’s sets. That resulted in several fights as you can imagine!
- Favorite song ever recorded with The Broadsiders in the past ten years?
Austin: Lazarus. That is the best song we have ever written and wrapped up the album and our band nicely. The imagery and finality of the lyrics sinks in with me every time we play it.
And for the record – worst song: Face Value. That was our attempt at writing a song in studio. The problem with writing in studio is that you don’t have enough time to love or hate a song…but I definitely hated that one, haha.
Collin: I'd say "Lazarus" which oddly wasn't one of my favorites while we were writing All Things, but once we recorded it I really dug it.
Dan: Tip of the Spear. It has a little bit of everything I like; it’s heavy and dynamic with all the time changes. That song probably encompasses the guitar work that I’m most proud of with this band.
- Favorite song to play live with The Broadsiders in the past ten years?
Austin: Castle Law – if anyone ever saw us play it live, we have a Fleetwood Mac breakdown in the middle of the song, haha.
- Perhaps too easy, but your favorite The Broadsiders release of the past ten years?
Austin, Collin, Dan: “All Things Must End” :)