A Wilhelm Scream


Massachusetts melodic hardcore punk outfit A Wilhelm Scream are returning to Australia for the fourth time at the end of this month. The band will join Mad Caddies and Good Riddance, amongst others, for the Hits and Pits Festival, as well as playing sideshows in Brisbane and Melbourne. Killyourstereo.com caught up with frontman Nuno Pereira to discuss the upcoming tour, along with details of their soon to be released new album, Party Crasher.

You’re heading over here for Hits and Pits pretty soon. How are you feeling about it?

Really excited, I just feel bad for the people in the States. I wish we could get a tour like that together in the States, it would be pretty awesome. In my opinion it’s one of the strongest line-ups we’ve been asked to play on in recent memory, so I’m beside myself as a fan, you know what I mean? And also as a corny, touristy type dude who just loves going to Australia any chance he gets.

What are you looking forward to doing while you’re over here?

Honestly, just the chance to get to see those bands every day, I’m really looking forward to that. The weather, I mean, we live in Massachusetts, so as we speak it’s blowing like a fucking hurricane outside and instead of just raining it’s snowing, and it’s just pretty nasty up here, so I’m looking forward to putting on some shorts and maybe going for a swim.

You’ve also got a sideshow in Melbourne where you’ll be playing Mute Print in full. Whose decision was that?

(laughs) That’s a good question. I honestly have no idea. It’s become almost like a blessing and a curse at this point. We’ve been asked to do it a few different times, I don’t really get it, but it is fun because we get to play some songs that we almost never play live. But I don’t know, I don’t know who’s to blame for this, if there’s blame to be put somewhere. But it’s not my fault.

Do you notice any difference in the crowds, depending on where you’re playing?

I mean, in Australia, all of our shows have always been really well received. Europe is good, I mean from city to city and town to town, depending on the number of football matches on or what day of the week it is, you can have a swing of 200 kids one way or the other. I feel like over the years we’ve always been really well received, whether it’s a small crowd going batshit crazy, or a bigger crowd checking us out for the first time, we’re always going to put on the same show, which is to say the best show we can put on. And I think that translates well, and I think the audiences really kind of let us know whether or not we’re doing a good job. So far so good, I haven’t had any rotten vegetables thrown at me yet. Just a few insults.

Oh really?

Yeah, it’s alright though, I just punch those people right in the mouth, so…

Yeah, that’s what you should do.
So you’ve said you’re planning on releasing your new album in spring, which is sort of any time from now. Are we going to be hearing some new material on this tour?

Yeah. We’ve been playing a couple of songs the last few times we’ve played shows. We’ll be probably playing a couple of those, and maybe even at that sideshow, the Mute Print show. The thing is, Mute Print is only 32 minutes long and I think we’re obligated to play close to an hour, so I’d say we’re probably going to have to add to that, so I’m sure there will be a few jams off the new record in there as well.

Can you give us any updates on the new album? Do you have a release date set or anything?

We don’t have a set release date yet. We have a name for the album and we just had a real good friend who’s been working the last couple of weeks on the artwork for the album come through. The music’s all set, we’re really just waiting to get the layout put together. It’s going along pretty quick now since we’ve got the ball rolling on the artwork, so I imagine in the next probably three months or so, Party Crasher will be coming out, and everyone can go pick it up.

The new record was self-produced, what was the reason for that?

I think it’s a lot of fun. I mean, Trevor’s been working in a studio forever. His dad would let us record our first demo tapes back in the mid 90s, we were kids just cutting demo tapes in his dad’s project studio. Over the years he’s put a lot more money and time into it, and Trevor’s really gotten pretty solid at turning knobs and getting performances out of people. Our guitar player Mike as well, he’s a phenom, he doesn’t mind staying up hours on end to edit stuff and get things together. It’s a good experience as a musician to kind of get a sound sense of how everything works, you know what I mean? I don’t feel it takes away from musicianship at all, I mean it can only help, right? Our reason for doing it, one, obviously is to save some money, and two, it’s just a learning experience and kind of a bonding experience. So I guess those are two reasons. Love and money.

So Trevor has written most of the lyrics in the past. Was that the same on this record?

Yeah, I mean we did share a lot, we did write a lot. Mike wrote some words for this new record as well, which is nice, and Trevor, he gets stuck sometimes and likes to have others help out, so I think we have a pretty good mix actually of Trevor’s lyrics, my lyrics, even Mike’s getting in on the action now.

Aside from the self-titled EP you released in 2009, it’s been a little while between albums. Was there any reason for that or it’s just taken a bit longer this time?

I think that’s just how it goes, I don’t think there’s ever like a set formula. Obviously you want to write and record and release as often as possible, but it doesn’t always work out like that. We’re not really professional musicians, we don’t make enough money to survive on by doing the band, so that comes into play. Sometimes we need to work for a little bit. We did a lot of touring between albums, and obviously it’s a little bit harder to dial in new songs and work out ideas when you’re in a different place and on a different stage every night. That factored in quite a bit. And then most recently, my fiancé and I have a little boy now, so we’re more focused on getting things together before I have to take off for a few weeks.

Yeah, I was wondering about that actually. Because you guys all have families now, do you have plans to slow down with touring or anything?

It’s definitely going to be a lot more of a "Hey, can you do this? Is this okay?" rather than "Hey, we’ll do whatever anyone asks us to do pretty much." I think it’ll definitely be more planned out in advance, there won’t be too many surprises. I of course want to be home as much as possible. At the same time, my fiancé understands that I’m in a touring band, that’s part of who she decided to spend the rest of her life with (laughs). There’s going to be trade-offs.

Just back on the EP, I kind of wanted to know how that cover of ‘Your Love’ came about.

Oh, that’s just from me getting drunk and doing karaoke. I have a few karaoke standards that I do when I get lit up, so ‘Your Love’ was always one of them. ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ by Queen is another one, I don’t know if we’re going to record that one, but we probably should. Freddie Mercury did a pretty decent job of it but I’m not too shabby myself. ‘Push It’ by Salt ‘n’ Pepa, that one gets the party going.

So no plans to record any other covers?

Well, never say never. Obviously, the last cover was so great, I’m sure people are just chomping at the bit.

I loved it actually. I know a lot of people have covered it and there are some terrible versions, but yours is really good.

You know what’s funny? You ever notice… I don’t know if you ever had a friend who owned a jeep or a very iconic style of car or truck and then once you’re inside of one you start noticing other ones around more often. Like, I used to sing that song at karaoke all the time, and then Trevor as a joke said we should record it and use it as a filler b-side for the EP. And we were all laughing, and then a few months later, two covers of the song were released by like, actual other bands or singers or whatever. I thought it was pretty funny, it must have been one of those cosmic snafus or something.

Maybe it was, yeah. So if any artist was going to cover one of your songs, who would you want it to be?

Oh man, that’s a good question. Ideally… James Brown. Yeah, James Brown.

And just to finish up, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

We’re going to try and come home as much as possible. We’re going to be going to Europe, that should be a lot of fun. There’s always great festivals over there in spring time. We’ll get to go see some friends in Portugal, that’s always nice. Other than that, just hanging out, waiting for my kid to want to go play catch or something, which will be a few years, but I’m going to keep asking him every time I see him just in case.

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