For five years now, Ska Punk Rock band The Interrupters have been paving their way into the music industry as they cement their path by excessively playing show after show worldwide as well as releasing two studio albums.
The band officially formed in 2011 and consists of four members, Aimee Allen [Vocals], Kevin Bivona [Guitar], and his twin brothers Jesse [Drums] and Justin [Bass].
Currently, the immersive band is in the middle of an Australian and New Zealand tour supporting Punk Rock legends, Green Day.
In the midst of their support shows, they’ve managed to also accord their own headline show Thursday 4th May at Collingwood’s Gasometer Hotel.
Fortunately, between their busy schedule, guitarist Kevin Bivona made some time to talk about his band, tour life, their new album and Green Day.
Firstly we touched base on the nitty gritty on the band’s formation and name origin and influences;
“It happened organically,” Bivona added when asked how the band formed, “my brothers and I were on tour with our old band The Telecasters and Aimee [Vocals] was on tour promoting a record she made as a solo artist and we ended up playing some shows together in California where we became friends, playing music together which was the same time we met Tim Armstrong who jumped on as producer who put our album out on his label Hellcat and we have kept the same team together ever since for both albums.”
Laughs were exchanged when asked where the band’s unique name origin derived from, “That’s the interesting thing, we started the band, we didn’t have a name and I think anyone who’s ever tried to start a band before can identify with having a notebook with lists upon lists upon names with just anything we could think of that maybe worked but none of them were quite right but one time my mom was in town and she was really excited and she kept interrupting us and afterwards Aimee was like ‘Well you’re Mom is kind of an interrupter.” And after she said that we all kind of looked at each other and said “Well that’s the band name.’ And, I guess it stayed, it suited what we were playing, it was fun and we weren’t taking ourselves too seriously…..It had an urgency about it.”
The band have been categorised as several subgenres of Punk Rock including Ska Punk, Street Punk and 2 Tone, the question in order was, which acts influenced this stylistic musical direction?
“We all grew up in the 90’s with the huge Punk Rock boom and Ska and moving backwards from that and learning more about what bands they listened to and so we get our influences anywhere from The Ramones, The Clash to the whole 2 Tone Ska like The Body Snatchers all the way up to Rancid, NOFX, and that whole genre of Punk, but we also listen to Reggae… anything, anything with good songwriting is what inspires us.”
It appears as though the band has not stopped playing this year where in the United States they have been playing show after show all year round, only playing Coachella two weeks ago and straight onto an Australian and New Zealand tour.
“It’s a really tough thing to complain about because the opportunities that have been offered to us are the once in a lifetime type of opportunity,” Bivona answered when asked how the band are coping with excessive touring and travelling across the world.
“Obviously flying around and travelling can be a bit rough on the human body but we in no way can complain about it because we’re so happy to be able to play the gigs we do that it helps even all the other stuff out. “
This is the band’s second time in Australia, coming here in 2015 after the release of their self-titled first album, “The Interrupters” also to play the Soundwave festival across four cities.
“This is our very first arena and a headline tour in Australia which is very different to our last tour here, it’s not the first time, but it feels like the first time. “
On that note, Bivona was asked about Australian tour life and how it differs from the United States:
“The main difference touring in Australia is you have to fly everywhere where in the states we can get in our van and drive city to city and here everything is so spread apart, but the people who come to the shows are just as enthusiastic and music loving, everyone has been super cool and it’s up there with some of the best crowds we’ve ever played to so I think the only main difference in Australia is the way you get around.”
Keeping to the topic of arena shows, the topic of the Green Day shows were brought to light on how they achieved major support and what it is like to tour with the legendary band.
“We were all really excited, and it was through the world of punk rock and us being on Tim Armstrong’s’ label where Billy Joe and Green Day first started and so I think just through that relationship and being aware of us, so they reached out and we did the European tour with them and we were all like “I hope they like us” then they asked us to do the Australian tour with them and we were like “Whoah!” But the guys are so friendly and down to Earth! It’s weird because they’re one of the biggest bands in the world but they’re still a Punk Rock band from California. I think that as the band grew larger they became more grounded and awesome, super easy to talk to and nice!”
As previously mentioned, the band have been extremely busy with touring, yet last year they managed to release their latest album, “Say It Out Loud”, “We wrote that album between tours which was really cool, and as we were writing songs we actually were able to try them out on the road in front of audiences, and with our first album we hadn’t played that many shows, so with all our touring experience we aimed to channel that into our music, playing stuff we thought would be a lot of fun to play live. But we also have an hour’s worth of material, so this summer we’re going to go into the studio and work on our third album so we’re going to keep it moving.”
With the tour in full form, the band’s performance is full of energy and aim to get everyone warmed up and dancing and as quoted by Bivona, “It’s going to be a nice sweaty, Punk Rock dance party.