Interviewed by: Shane Fenton
©2013 SoundStageReview InterMedia®™
After a 5 year break from the world of Good Riddance frontman Russ Rankin speaks to SoundStageReview about the world of touring, personal recollections, the state of the music industry the return of Good Riddance to the touring scene and other random shenanigans in the lead up to the first Australian Hits and Pits Festival starting in Sydney at the Roundhouse on the 23rd March. (it starts next week, just in case you are hiding under a rock)
Job In Band:
Santa Cruz, California
Hometown is best known for, IF ANYTHING:
Surfing, skateboarding, Bl’ast!
In the beginning, how did the band first come together?
We were just a local band playing parties and what not, doing punk cover songs and a couple of originals. Luke joined the band in the early 1990s and things sort of took off from there.
Since the return of Good Riddance (just over 12 months ago), what has been the most surprising aspect of reuniting after that five year gap?
How easy it has been to coalesce as a band again. Also (sadly) how relevant the lyrics still are all these years later.
What has been a personal stand out achievement of the band to date?
Being able to share the stage with so many amazing bands/people who we admire and who continually inspire us.
GOOD RIDDANCE vs. THE WORLD:
In your opinion, how do you feel technology has altered communications with Good Riddance fans and where do you see this constantly evolving social movement going in years to come?
I think that compared to many other bands we under-utilize the available technology. That being said we really aren’t out to reinvent ourselves or try to build (or rebuild) a fan base. We have a Facebook account and a website - that’s pretty much it.
What do you feel is the most significant difference between the 70’s/80’s Punk scene and now?
There are far more bands now, the genre is splintered and sub-categorized much more. Music fans are inundated with a lot more information. Also the degree to which the culture industry has co opted the music and lifestyle. In many ways the music (and surrounding scene) has become safer and consumer friendly.
OFF THE STAGE:
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it?
Someone played me “Chemical Warfare” by the Dead Kennedys, that was my moment where I decided this music was for me. Bad Religion was the band that made me want to play my own music.
Any particular band/album or song that you personally credit as a major influence?
Dead Kennedys “Plastic Surgery Disasters,” Bad Religion “Suffer” and the self-titled Adolescents album.
Most prized music related item you own?
Probably the couple of rare t shirts from old straight edge bands I’m still holding onto.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing?
I work pretty much full time. I surf. I play hockey. I also released a solo album this past year and so I’m playing a lot of solo shows. I also have another band called Only Crime which is periodically busy. I scout for a hockey team as well.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is…
Getting to travel, see other places; maybe see old friends I don’t get to see much.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today?
There’s too many bands competing for your attention. Trying to find ways to convince people to attend your show rather than the three other ones happening in town that night.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is…
Missing my girlfriend.
ON THE STAGE:
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider?
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why?
Australia - so similar to where we live in some ways and yet vastly different. People are awesome, cities are relatively clean and engaging.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why?
Hard to say. Our final show in 2007 was pretty heavy, very emotional.
Favourite song to play live?
Libertine or Mother Superior.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind?
Forgetting lyrics, not being able to find my microphone.
Any pre-show rituals?
Stretch, warm up, jump around. Usually singing songs to get my voice ready.
Last song you listened to?
“Turnpike Gates” by Lifetime
Last album you acquired?
The Bronx (IV)
Which band or album is currently on high rotation?
I keep my iPod on shuffle in my car. I love the new Bronx album, the new Swellers. The latest Billy Bragg.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now?
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band?
Lots of shows in several different countries. Hopefully South America for the first time in November.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why?
Lifetime. They were and are one of my favourite bands and I think they would put some interesting spins on our stuff.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance?
Minor Threat. Black Flag with Dez singing.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band.
The Swellers. Maybe Lifetime although I don’t think they should really “open.”
If Good Riddance could go drinking for a night with anyone in history, who would it be with?
I don’t drink but for the sake of answering your question I’d say (for me) Shane MacGowan.
You hear a knock on the door, as you open the door standing there is duck, a miniature horse and actor Kevin Bacon holding a jar super crunchy peanut butter… what is your first thought?
I would ask Kevin Bacon about his experiences filming “A Few Good Men.”
You have been asked to include a Good Riddance song on a compilation of music sent to an alien race as an introduction to Earth culture, what song would you select to include?
“There’s No I In Team.”
Any final words for Aussie fans to contemplate?
Thanks for all the support!
My thanks to Russ for the great interview, catch Russ on stage with Good Riddance throughout the Hits and Pits Festival, grab tickets now before they are sold out, not many tickets left.
Catch Good Riddance along with Voodoo Glow Skulls, Mad Caddies, The Wilhelm Scream, The Flatliners, Diesel Boy, One Dollar Short, Totally Unicorn, Jen Buxton, Jamie Hay, Paper Arms and more…
Visit the Hits and Pits Festival site for set times and other info here: http://www.facebook.com/CMTouring/events for all the info on the event and don’t forget the awesome sideshows on offer.
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