Pennywise – Across The Ocean

Pennywise

Pennywise are back in the country with good mates Anti-Flag to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the iconic album About Time which features concert staples, Peaceful Day, Perfect People, Every Single Day, and Same Old Story. Randy Bradbury (bass) talks about that album and the upcoming tour to Across The Ocean.

pennywise-2015-tour

Another Australian tour, very exciting, have you thought about buying a house down here?

We used to think about it back in the day but now the Australian dollar kind of went crazy on us and I don’t think we could ever do that now. If the dollar goes the other way that would be a different proposition but we think of Australia as our second home.

Are you still amazed by the legacy that surrounds the twentieth anniversary of the album About Time?

Well, I can speak about it from an outside perspective because I didn’t help write the album. For me to listen to it and I was a Pennywise fan before I got in the band I’m not shocked because I think it is a great album. They are great songs, I suppose, I didn’t expect it to last this long or exepct us to be touring this long. In that respect I would have to say twenty years later it is kind of shocking. I still think the songs hold up and we’ve been playing a lot of the songs in our set anyway because they are favourites. I think it is a strong album all the way through. If any of our albums that should have lasted this long About Time would be a good candidate.

When you look back did you ever think that Pennywise would be such a defining act in the punk genre?

Um, you don’t really think about that. I think you do what you like doing and I just think we’re very fortunate what we enjoy doing has made it to so many people and became what it is now that there are a lot of people out there that would consider us as something that helped shape their version of punk rock. I guess it is surprising but how can you tell what the future is before it happens.

How has it been playing About Time from start to end?

When we go out we don’t usually follow the set, it is more fun to not have it so regimented. We want to honour the memory of the twenty years of this album and I think we will stay true to that as best we can, we’ll see what happens. We have all the right intentions of coming out and rock the album from start to finish.

Do some songs take more rehearsing than others given you may not play them as often?

Some of them are not that comfortable, you get in the studio and rehearse stuff and you don’t think about what is going to take play but what sounds good. A couple of them in the past have been more challenging than others but we have been rehearsing them and they sound good and feel comfortable. I think everything is going to be good and flow.

When you start playing album like this do you start getting nostalgic?

In general, life in general, there are things that remind me and I get nostalgic all the time. I mean this album reminds me of the touring cycle when I went to Australia for the first time with Pennywise and we were playing a lot of new songs then. That was back in 1995 and that was a really big deal and I had such a great time in Australia and we always have, there’s a bit of nostalgia. Then again, it is still about focusing on what we are doing now and I think when we play and rehearse these songs I said to the guys if we made this album now I wish this would be the album we’d put out next year. So, you have these points in time where everything comes together and everything is right and I think this album is a good example of that with everything firing on all cylinders. I’m filled with that nostalgic magic to happen again but I’m just looking forward to going back down there playing the songs and showing nostalgia is really good.

It is a great partnership with Anti-Flag isn’t it?

Anti-Flag is my favourite band and those guys have so many great songs. They’re nice guys and I love touring with them. That is a definite huge plus.

Is that a friendship that goes back many, many years?

It is weird, there are a lot of bands we have been touring with on and off over the years. We’re not always directly on a tour with bands supporting us but over the years you play festivals, you do the Warped tour and fifteen years later or so you don’t know where it happened but you just end up being really close with these guys. It is hard to put a finger on it as we didn’t go to high school together or meet on Craiglist and say let’s be best friends. There is a familiar face and there’s all these guys that do the same thing as we do and then end up in a bar having a few drinks. I think it is a natural progression to become friends with all of these guys.

Have you been happy with how Yesterdays has been received?

I’m really happy with it because it is what it is, it was a nod back to these songs that got overlooked and then it was like an easy way to get back in to the studio with Jim. We wanted to keep it low key and mellow in the studio and not just start hashing things out because there is a lot of history between all of us. We wanted to do something that we knew we liked and with all these b-sides we were going to try and put together a box set and that didn’t happen because we heard all these songs and thought they were strong songs – like why did they get overlooked. I’m happy with the way the songs turned out, I’m happy with the production and the way the album sounds, it has received a lot of good reviews and people are saying good things about it on the internet. I don’t know what else we could have done to make it better, I think it’s great!

Has there been much thought about the next album?

Everyone is working on material and there’s a discussion about wanting to get in to the studio and talking about who we want to record with. It is definitely something that is on the front burner but there’s nothing definite as of yet.

Is it getting harder to coordinate schedules to make it happen?

We all make the band our top priority and we all live close to each other. It is just a matter of getting everyone to agree or have the desire to do certain things. Once we are all on the same page and want to do it is pretty much setting a date, when we’re serious about doing something it is pretty easy to schedule.

Beyond Australia is the rest of the year filled with more touring?

After Australia we have some big shows in California then we’ve got South America. We’ve got a few more tours but beyond South America I think we’ll wind down for the holidays.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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