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Strung Out: Songs of transcendence

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This February, Californian lords Strung Out will be returning to our shores with brothers in arms Pennywise.

Like the favourite children of sorts, Australian fans are spoiled when it comes to Strung Out’s attention. “I feel like I’m out there more than some places here in America,” vocalist Jason Cruz, admits to Blunt Magazine.

There are several reasons why it doesn’t take much to twist their arm into returning to our shores. Australian exports including INXS, Nick Cave and of course, Mad Max, were talismanic to Jason’s youth, though marrying an Australian no doubt also plays a vital role.

This time around, Strung Out will be bringing with them their brand new record Songs of Armor and Devotion. It’s proven to be Yet another volatile and stirring collection of anthems from the band who have developed a knack for capturing not just the mood of society in America, but that of the world at large.

Indeed, so astute are Strung Out at capturing these moods, that many of the ideas contained within Songs of Armor and Devotion; ideas of looming catastrophe, the current state of global chaos and a fog of social uncertainty, are even truer now – months after it’s release – than they were when Jason wrote them.

You just need to look at the headlines this week to see they’re only getting truer by the day.

“Sometimes you don’t know how you feel about things…” says Jason, recalling when he first began penning the tracks on the album, “they affect you and it just sits in you and it soaks.”

“I think that’s the fortunate thing about what I do; my own reflection gets thrown right back at me. Thank God for art; that I get to evaluate it from a distance…It’s beautiful how you create something and that teaches you about yourself, whether you plan on it or not.”

To write songs that capture a fluid global mindset like those on Songs of Armor and Devotion doesn’t require a crystal ball, Jason explains, but instead a thorougher understanding that as a society, “we’re just repeating the same stupid shit every couple of years.”

Even as one of the dudes who made the album, Jason was surprised by how loaded some of the ideas put forth by Songs Of Armor and Devotion were. For instance, the track ‘Daggers’: “I didn’t think too much about ‘Daggers’.” Jason says. “I didn’t understand it when I was writing it…”

“I realised a few months after the actual song was recorded that that was how I felt about Venezuela and everything going on in South America. That exodus in Caracas, in Venezuela, we were there. We had friends there. Just the thought of losing your country and being driven out; just this upheaval, this mass upheaval, this mass exodus like, God.”

Songs of Armor and Devotion also brought with it realisations about Strung Out itself. Perhaps like ‘Daggers’, one that has been sitting deep within Jason and his band mates for some time – that their ethos and mission statement no longer fits within the purview of punk rock, or any genre at all in fact.

“I don’t consider us punk anymore,” Jason explains, “I don’t consider people that listen to us, punks. “

“It’s different. We transcended into something else, and I think a lot of our fans have too. I’ve been on tour with punk bands that are just so punk and they’ve worked so punk and put forth this attitude of punk.We’re not like that. I feel like we turned into something different. I don’t know what it is but for better or for worse it’s something different.”

This isn’t the end of Strung Out, far from it. It’s a new starting point for the band; a springboard into unknown pastures where Strung Out can let the proverbial wild horses run free.

“Where we’re at now is so far removed from where we started…the attitude’s still there, but we took that and created something different.”

Free from the shackles of a specific genre, and the myopia that can come from working with the external and internal expectations that come with specific genres, the future of Strung Out contains endless potential. The dust is yet to settle on Songs of Armor and Devotion, yet Jason and co. are already conceptualising their next step, and the next step after that.

“I’d like to do a covers record next year,” Jason says. “We’ve always talked about how interesting it could be. We could do some really cool versions of classic songs. Then I have some ideas for the next Strung Out record…”

“I always think every Strung Out record could be the last one. Because you never know. Shit might happen. You have to treat everything like shit happens. It’s all or nothing. But I’d like to do a film, a short film to go along with the next record; something more multidimensional.”

Strung Out 2020 Australian Tour Dates
Supporting Pennywise
Tickets on sale now

Forum, Melbourne
Thursday, 6th February
Tickets: Live Nation

Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Hights – SOLD OUT
Friday, 7th February
Tickets: Live Nation

Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
Saturday, 8th February
Tickets: Live Nation

Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast – SOLD OUT
Sunday 9th, February
Tickets: Live Nation

Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Wednesday, 12th February
Tickets: Live Nation

Nex, Newcastle
Thursday, 13th February
Tickets: Live Nation

Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Friday, 14th February
Tickets: Live Nation

Metro Fremantle, Perth
Sunday, 16th February
Tickets: Live Nation

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