A Wilhelm Scream: Boycott Warped Tour
There’s few bands present with the talent to carve out a loyal following in the punk rock niche they call home and the ability to remain modest about it. Massachusetts punks A Wilhelm Scream are one of them, and luckily for us, they’ll be bringing their A-game to our shores for an all-round Aussie tour next month. BLUNT caught up with axe-handler Trevor Reilly to talk new music, their visit Down Under and no one turning up to see Face To Face at Warped Tour.
Hey Trevor, how are you doing?
I’m doing good! Just laying down some demo tracks here. We’re working on some new songs. We’re actually working on a 7″, and I’m just laying down some ideas on arrangement and stuff.
Are these the unfinished songs from the Partycrasher writing process?
Yeah! We have one song that we did all the music for and we just need to do the vocals on it, and then there was another song that we hadn’t recorded any of the music for. I kind of mapped out an arrangement for the song and everything, but we didn’t get around to doing it because that song is kind of a wacky song. It’s got a lot of wacky parts and I think it’s our longest song, I mean, it clocks in around seven minutes or something.
When do you think you guys will get that out? Your fanbase has been really anticipating new material.
That’s awesome to hear. Well we have to all get together, I gotta get the guys in town to finish the recording of it, so I can’t really put a date on it yet. I just got our touring schedule and it looks like we’re gonna be touring a lot this year as well, so we’re gonna get it in when we can. Unfortunately I don’t have a time period right now, but if I had to guess, I would say maybe the end of the summer, I would think, would be doable.
That’s good to hear! So A Wilhelm Scream continues to pump out new music, and like many artists exclusive to punk, you’ve stood the test of time. What do you think gives bands in the scene that longevity?
For us, it’s just like…we love what we do, you know? It’s the kind of thing [where] we don’t make a lot of money from this, if at all. Everybody has side jobs and other stuff that we do. It’s hard to keep a band together, especially a band like ours – I guess any band that’s been doing it for a long time. It’s got to come down to just having a good time with each other and enjoying making music with each other and the love of what we do and playing live. If we didn’t have that, the energy and excitement of playing in front of people, then it would be hard for us. It’s kind of like a different animal, you know when you write songs and record, that’s all fun and that’s all great, that’s 50 percent of what I love about doing this. But the other 50 percent is also just going out in front of people, people that appreciate it, and that’s what makes this the best job in the world, and that’s what makes me not give a shit if we don’t make a lot of money, as long as we can get by and we get by because of the people that support our band and our fans. What’s always in the front of my mind is to never let them down and to always keep it up the next time, you know, the next time to get better and better, and I feel like as long as we still have that – wanting to get better and wanting to outdo ourselves – as long as we’re true to ourselves and we try to push ourselves forward.
“Going out in front of people, people that appreciate it, that’s what makes this the best job in the world and that’s what makes me not give a shit if we don’t make a lot of money.”
You’re coming to Australia this May and you’re making a damn good go of it, even hitting up the the more obscure cities that most acts would usually skip. Was even that a conscious decision to push the tour further?
Oh, absolutely. Every time we go out, we don’t book the tours ourselves, we have our promoters. But having said that, it’s always our intention to try to get everywhere we can. Even going back to the beginning of the band, playing little towns, if not for that we wouldn’t be able to do this. Playing small places and people appreciating it is so much because a lot of bands don’t do that. I’m talking about going back to 1999 and stuff, going out to the middle of nowhere in North Dakota where people would come see us play… shows like that. Maybe it’ll be in a small club or whatever – that’s the place you want to hear a band like ours. Shows where you’re so close you can feel our sweat, you know what I mean? Get gross with us. Those are the shows that end up being unforgettable for us and I’m sure for people coming out. We remember most shows anyway, but smaller ones always. Something about it gets our juices flowing. Plus, I want to see countries as well. We’re so lucky to be able to travel. We love playing to fans all over the world and everything, but sometimes apart from playing we want to see stuff and do stuff and see cool places and go swimming, you know?
Completely. Zooming out to the entire scene, what changes have you noticed over the course of your 17-year career?
I think for our band, we’ve always kind of been on the underground of things. A lot of new bands who are like, massive, selling a crazy amount of records, I’ve never heard of. I know a lot of them don’t last very long. It’s not necessarily because I live under a rock, I’m very involved with stuff and we stay up on these things. It’s just that the overall scene, [at] entry level, you know, the bands that break you into this underground type of music at a young age, is so fleeting. It’s really hard to stay up on that. Some of the new shit is just bad. But then there’s the other stuff that will remind me why I started listening to music.
I would never call a band disposable because I would never say that about someone who has heart. But there’s something about some bands that come out where it’s like… I never go to Warped Tour. I went one year, this is like, seven years ago at this point, when Face To Face came out of retirement. We had gone to Warped Tour to visit our friends and I was checking out Face To Face. It’s pretty rad. They had a pretty big crowd in front of them. But it didn’t take me long to realise that wow, these people were standing in front of the stage because they were waiting for the next band to come on. And I still couldn’t tell you what that band was called; I have no idea. I haven’t heard anything from that band since. But all the people were standing in front of the Face To Face stage, a lot of them not even watching Face To Face. And then the band showed up. I’m sure you can guess what kind of band it was. That was one thing where I was like, “Wow, this is crazy. Face To Face are killing it right now, they’re playing great”. I’ve never heard them sound better even though it was an outdoor festival. They all made jokes about it and stuff, it was cool. I’m sure Face To Face is going on tour right now, their new record is awesome and I’m sure they’re playing a packed house right now, and who knows what that other band is doing, you know what I mean? It’s a fickle game.
A Wilhelm Scream / The Decline
Thu 19th May– Rosemount Hotel, Perth (18+)
Fri 20th May– Crowbar, Brisbane (18+)
Sat 21st May– Factory Floor, Sydney (18+)
Sun 22nd May–Rad Bar, Wollongong (AA)
25th May– The Basement, Canberra (18+)
Thu 26th May– The Reverence Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Fri 27th May– Uni Bar, Adelaide (AA)
Sat 28th May– Brisbane Hotel, Hobart (18+)