Interview + Track Premier, with Peace De Résistance

Peace de Résistance is the solo recording project of Mose Brown. Best known for fronting the punk band Institute and playing drums in the hardcore outfit Glue, Brown has drifted from his roots to create “demented glam rock” for the 2020’s. Following the 2020 demo tape Hedgemakers, Brown is self-releasing the project’s first full length LP, Bits and Pieces on his very own newly minted label, Peace de Records. Today the world gets a second peek into the full length, with the release of the second single off the record, “Alphabet Au Pair”. 

With heavy nods towards The Velvet Underground, “Alphabet Au Pair” is a dreamy snarl towards the “privacy iconoclast” Alexa- as in the Amazon’s voice assistant, not a typical femme muse. The albums leans into a romanced anxiety about what it means to be a modern person: surveilled, uninsured and overworked.

Listen to “Alphabet Au Pair” from the debut LP “Bits and Pieces” out April 13th on Peace De Récords below, while you check out the first ever interview about Peace de Résistance.

Mose and I sat down at his dinner table for the first ever Peace de Résistance interview over some cauliflower rice and sweet potatoes to discuss where the project comes from, how music is like scent and what his go-to bodega order is. Just in case we ever get a live show, you’ll know what to bring as a token of appreciation.

Jane Pain (JP): I did not hear anything about Peace De Résistance until the demo (Hedgemakers, Glue Records, 2020) was announced and I was an instant fan. And I am your partner’s sister and your close friend! I want to know a bit about where the project came from.

Was it a quick inspiration that blurted out in Covid isolation? What was the inception of everything?

Moses Brown (MB): The tape was me just learning to record at home. Barry (Institute, Chalk) told me how he recorded everything, which is passing through a four track that goes into the headphone jack in a computer without recording onto tape. So it gets all warm and stuff, but you don’t have to deal with recording on tape.The first demo was just me playing around with that set up. Blowing out the channel of the four track.

JP: So it was you, locked up in the attic just kinda making something to make it?

MB: Definitely wanting to shake the cobwebs and freshen up my songwriting skills and try to do something completely different. I would get a guitar tone, realize that it sounded stupid and was like… ‘Lets go with that!’. Trying to do dumb, extreme choices. I was like ‘this feels good, I like this’. 

JP: So this was fun to do?

MB: So fun to do. 

JP: I am glad that you found a bright spot at that time. Were you surprised by people’s response to the demo? I feel like it was kind of an internet darling and people really responded to it. 

MB: Definitely, because it was recorded so badly I was like… ‘People like this’? The thing that bugs me still is the drums. The drums sound like trash, because they were recorded with one microphone. If I had recorded the drums with Sasha (Artifact Studios. Firewalker/ 80HD)  or something, I would have felt different but I just felt like they were bad. 

JP: And that is hard, because that is your main instrument. Did you record them in the attic here (Brown’s Bed-Stuy apartment)?
MB: Glue had a practice space, so I went in there one day during the height of lockdown. I remember going in there with gloves on and full gear and realizing that someone had been in there at 11AM… and it was 5PM and I was like “OH NO!”. 

I just had one mic, recorded the drums. I used a glass bottle of Michels of Brooklyn pasta sauce. That is the “ding ding ding”. 

JP: That studio situation elicits so many memories that feel so far away. When doing anything, it felt scary and naughty. When we were washing our groceries. 

The LP (Bits and Pieces, Peace De Récords) doesn’t strike me as having the same spirit of ‘I am just going to record this shitty and get it out’. What changed in your attitude between the tape and deciding to do the LP? What were you setting out to do when you first started writing the LP? 

MB: I guess, people liking the tape. Specifically, friends really liked the tape and gave me confidence that I could do more songs. The song quality on the demo was bugging me a little bit, and I knew I could record a bit better. Then I realized that I had ten songs, and thirty minutes of music and it was going to be an LP. 

JP: Well, I am stoked on that, because I was one of those friends, and I was really hoping that there would be more. 

I was really honored when you asked me to take the picture for the cover of Bits and Pieces. I got even more excited when you sent me the LP and I got to listen. 

 I know we were going for a timelessness, and a glam look and whatnot with the cover. Institute releases always have your art on the cover. What was behind your decision to have a photograph of yourself on the cover? 

MB: I wanted to dive in real hard to the solo album thing: here is a picture of the person who made it. I wanted the record to look super classic. 

JP: Why did you self release it, on top of that?
MB: I don’t even know when in the process I decided that was what I was going to do. But, I just realized… I did the tape? I could do an LP? And working with Sacred Bones and other small labels made me realize that if I am not going to play a show ever or tour or do much promotion I should do it myself. If this flops, I want the responsibility to be in my lap. I wouldn’t want to ask someone to put it out and not play any shows, not want to talk about it. I realized I can do this myself and I don’t have to bother anybody.

JP: I guess you have not gotten to the part where you are sending these records out yet, but so far, what has the process of putting out your own LP of your own music been? What have you learned along the way? 

MB: It takes a long time. I gave the pressing plant everything in July and now, hopefully, the records are sent out in the next couple weeks. Fingers crossed. It cost a lot to do, about $3,000.

Being the one person talking to the record plant was a lot. They don’t have a relationship with me. I probably got sidelined as the weird dude who is just putting out one record. 

JP: You mentioned you did have a little snafu with the album design as well…

MB: Yes, I misplaced the accent on Resistance and I had to fix it with a sticker. 
JP: I had to personally place a sticker on all the FKA Twigs records that did not have the FKA back when I worked shipping records for the  Beggar’s Group. I don’t think it is that uncommon, and thankfully a sort of easy fix.

Do you have a plan for the label? Is it a home for all of your side projects? Do you want to release music from other people?

MB: I think it will just be a vessel for this project, but I don’t know. We will see. Now that it is all on the books…  How do you pay other people?  Tax stuff? I don’t want to figure that out. 

JP: When I think about some of the people who run labels, I have faith you can figure it out. You just mentioned that there isn’t a plan to play live, but is there any desire to do that… at all? 

MB:  Maybe it would be fun to play live with a band, but I would want it to be something special. Recreating the LP live wouldn’t be that much fun. I would be bothered by everything that was missing. Like ‘there isn’t that synth thing there… Where’s the cowbell?’ I need that. I would think that if I was to perform live it would be something totally different. I love the juxtaposition of recorded Velvet Underground versus the super rough bootleg live recordings…. Maybe I can do something like that. 

JP: That sounds really cool and like a good development of the music, considering the spirit of it. I hope that happens! 

Did it feel like a challenge playing everything by yourself, or does that just come naturally? 

MB: There were definitely times with the guitar where I thought I physically couldn’t play the parts. Coming up with what I was looking for and then… Oops, I can’t play it though. That was the only hard part, really. But it was fun. 

JP: Margaret (Brown’s partner, my sister, who also works on Pharmakon in said sauna studio) told me the attic that you guys use as a studio can get up to 120 degrees, with no windows, and you can’t stand in the studio in parts of the studio because the ceiling is slanted… and that your computer is a piece of shit… 

Was there any romance in that? I have been in less than ideal situations trying to make or record something and for some reason the challenges seem to add character and strengthen the memory of the experience. It can also just be funny and makes a good story. Like the time my drummer had to record with a mattress leaning on his back. Did the circumstances feel like part of the process or was it just frustrating to be trapped in a sweltering attic with a computer that is breaking down?

MB: It was kinda fun. The only problem is that you have to run a loud ass fan to stay cool. Thankfully everything was direct in, so I don’t think it showed up on the recording. 

JP: Were there any unlikely inspirations that worked their way into the LP?
MB: Madonna, “Ray of Light”. 

JP: That is a really good song, I can’t blame you.

I am thinking about all the accents that are on the record, so it was funny learning that there was a jar of pasta sauce used on the demo. Are there any other sonic inspirations? Or reading a book? I noticed that the last song includes “Journey To The End Of The Night”, which made me wonder if it was a reference to Celine. 

MB: It was definitely a nod! But the song doesn’t really have anything to do with the book. It is a morbid song, and that whole book is very morbid. And sad. 

JP: Darby [one of Mose’s cats] came out, because she is waiting to be name dropped. 

MB: Hi, Darby! You inspired a song. 

JP: Is Institute still a band?
MB: Oh, yeah. I think that Arak and I are going to start recording things at home. Once we move and I have a new studio. Do Institute, but write by recording it at home and then going into the studio and record a new LP. That process worked so well, I realized Institute needs to be doing it.

JP: I can imagine that working well for you guys, especially being spread out in different parts of the country. 

MB: Lower pressure, that is what I am all about. 

JP: Is Peace De Résistance your moniker that encapsulates all your solo endeavors, and Peace de Récords the vehicle? Have you thought about that at all?

MB: No, not really. All I know is I want to do this Lp and then put out another LP of this stuff. That’s the only goal that I can see right now. 

JP: Are you excited to share this record with people? 

MB: Totally. Even based on the first single, I had people say that they really liked it. Well, if they like that one, they are going to like the rest of them! 

JP: Having listened to the record a lot, I can attest that is true. But I like that confidence. 

I know you do visual art as well… Have you been working on visual art lately? 

MB: No. That was the thing. But I just made a lot of music and decided I was just going to focus on that. 

JP: I almost feel like all mixed media artists had to focus in on one thing, or lean into one thing heavier. 

MB: I don’t know what it was about the pandemic, but I could only pick one thing. 

JP: I felt like I needed an escape, and for that reason I was more compelled to make things that helped me escape. I can see music as being more stimulating and exciting and transport you outside of your head a bit more than working on drawings. 

MB: I would draw and be like… What are these drawings going to be for? There is no record? There are no flyers, there are no shows happening? 

JP: This will be my first published interview since the pandemic, so it feels like I have to talk about it. Since there were no shows, what got you through the past two years, hobby wise? Did you learn how to bake bread? 

MB: We {Mose and his partner} started going camping. Me and Margaret tried to learn how to surf, your Dad was teaching us how to surf. Going to the beach. It was such a chill zone. 

JP: Yeah, especially the first summer, the only joy I experienced was going to the beach. I wanted to go as much as humanly possible. 

But I did want to talk a bit about the lack of shows, specifically, and how the role that music plays in your life right now may differ than before the pandemic hit. We have live shows again, in spurts between infection spikes. Where does music fit into your life now? Did the pandemic factor into your decision to play things all alone?

MB: Before the pandemic, my whole world would be centered around when the next tour was, and the next place that we were going to go. I definitely miss that. Now instead of it being a means of traveling and stuff like that, it is a hobby that I get to do on Sunday. I just have to work all the time now, so what else am I supposed to do?
JP: Yeah, I guess if you are not touring all the time, you have to work your stupid job. I saw that a lot of your lyrics are about labor, actually. Do you mind speaking on that? 

MB: Totally. I would sit down and wonder what I wanted to write about. A lot of the songs are about tech and tech taking advantage of humanity and making money off of people, stealing their information and stuff. We are a motor to run their system. Why can’t we get paid? We need to make more money! 

The songs are definitely about the horrors of being alive and working right now. It is such a unique crazy period. And the inspiration for the lyrics were Cleaners from Venus. They are such well crafted pop songs, but they are lefty propaganda. 

JP: That was something that I really liked about the record too. The contrast of these warped pop songs with Crass records style, scathing lyrics. Something political and current in a package that is a bit more unsuspecting. 

MB: I think I needed to figure out a way to write about stuff. Lyrics need to be coming from you. I struggle with making a living, having health insurance, being agressively marketed to on the internet. 

JP: How does being at a show feel to you right now?  Do you feel like something has changed?
MB: Yeah, it is crazy to be back at shows. Touring still seems crazy to me, because I am going to inevitably get sick and then what do we do? Do we just cancel shows for five days? 

JP: I guess you just hide out in a Motel 6 and sweat it out. SXSW was last week and I started to see Covid declarations on twitter today. 

MB: Yeah, everyone probably got sick. That is just what happens now.

It is weird. Seeing MANAT a couple of nights ago was amazing, but at the same time I was being smooshed. I was two feet away from two dozen people. And everyone is screaming. It was freaking me out a little bit.

JP: You felt freaked out?

MB: In little glimpses. But it was too fun to worry about too much at the moment. 

JP: I did get particularly smooshed at that show. I am covered in bruises, including two really bad ones in a perfect line across my legs where I was being smashed into the stage.

MB: It was good just to hear music, loud. 

JP: I think everyone used to take shows for granted, because we never really thought that something like this was going to happen in our lifetimes. But going to shows now really makes me remember why I was attracted to punk and noise and live music in the first place. I feel like I have turned back into 13 year old Jane who would go to ABC NO RIO every Saturday no matter what, sober, and so fucking excited about whatever the fuck was goling on. I have that energy. Every show feels special and new again. Do shows feel special to you, after having them gone? 

MB: Totally. But also, I used to stand and watch everybody. After not going to shows for two years, I realized that if I don’t want to watch something, I do not have to stand there and watch everything. I will protect my ears. 

JP: Do you have any high hopes for summer? Spring is here and it feels like a really exciting time, and like we are going to step into a lot of experiences that we have been missing for years and a new chapter in our lives and music.

MB: Everyone has been cooped up, doing stuff. I just hope to come into summer and find out that all of my friends have been doing amazing shit. 

JP: I have been wondering if inflation will cause another big uprising this summer. What the fuck is going on? It is happening so quickly and dramatically. It makes me wonder if we are about to hit another Great Depression even more dramatic and messed up than the first, because of how much the world has changed since then and how many more bills we have gotten accustomed to paying.

I wondered if an undercurrent of collective malcontent in our country was in the Bits and Pieces

MB: Why is minimum wage in Texas still $7.25. Billionaires make so much more money, but workers have been making the same amount of money for fifteen years. The math doesn’t add up. 

JP: And the people we exalted as our essential workers are bearing the burden of being underpaid the worst. Being told that they can’t take time off if they have active covid. Transparently evil. 

On that note, what is the ideal function of music in your life? It certainly eases the pain of this reality.

MB: I don’t know. Music is just the best thing ever. It is to enjoy. It is magical. It is crazy. It is like smell or something, where the weird tone of a guitar can make you think of something. 

JP: Wow, I never thought of it like that before. The way music works on the mind and how scent works with memory is really similar. 

MB: When I like something a lot,  it feels mysterious and nostalgic. It is channeling something, reverberating deep in some part of me. I don’t know what that is.

JP: I can think of music that will always remind me of a super specific time, burned into my memory as a feeling. No matter how many times I heard it before or after, it is associated with this one time. Do you have any musical memories like that? 

MB: My Dad loved Public Image Ltd a whole bunch and I had second edition on CD. I had a CD player alarm clock. And I remember bringing it outside and skating a ramp in my front yard. Whenever I hear “No Birds” it feels like my CD player alarm clock is playing this, and I am doing an axle stall. 

JP: Hell yeah. That is so sweet. For a while now, I always ask an off hand last question and I like them to be about snacks. 

MB: “Fuck pirates booty….”

JP: I am going to fancy deli, do you want anything? 

MB: I am going to need extra cheez-its. And ice cream, honestly. I fuck with it. I recently became obsessed with it. And, a snack to me, is a deli sandwich. 

JP: Ice cream is a drug like food. Having something that is that indulgent, and cold. It is an experience. Well, let’s leave off on this: what is your favorite ice cream flavor?
MB: Chocolate fudge brownie. Gimme all the different chocolates. 

All photography by Jane “Pain” Chardiet. Do not reproduce without permission.

Photos From Winter

Witchcraft removing their corpse paint.
Jacob Winans at Miguel’s Room.
Float in New Orleans carival parade.
Nancy and Mandog Tony
More Nancy and Mandog
Pinocchio at Union Pool
Hannah Dunne
Q at Bohemian Grove.

Alexander Paul Gonzalez (Low and Slow) , after our show with Acyrlics got shut down by a bunch of cops pointing guns at us and moved two more times. He is the champ.
For Soft Skin Latex
For Zoe Burke
Bloodyminded at 202
Probably the best set of 2019.
Blue Hummingbird On The Left
Pissgrave
Sadist at Saint Vitus (Halloween). Straight up actually scariest show of 2019.
Party at Mile’s (expired film)
Before
After
Concave chest
Pedestrian Deposit at Knockdown Center.
Glue at Bohemian Grove.
Decisions at Bohemian Grove.
Nail tech’s puppy.
Jamal ❤ in LA’s Chinatown, THE pho spot.
Yohimbe at Hart bar.
obsessed with Flipper belly button.
and da booty
Apologist at Hrt bar.
Larry warthog (w Mose and Pancho)
Warthog at last Brooklyn Bazaar show.
Hankwood and the Hammerheads. RIP BK Bazaar.
Special Interest at CAC (NOLA)
Leaper Jenny at The Clam.
The Rita at 202.
Vomir at 202. Days before Covid-19 got real.
Which made the audience with a large population wearing a bag over their head sort of funny in retrospect. Sort of.
Nancy’s nasty stache. Rot in hell!
Twisted Thing at Union Pool.
Pee party.
Penis Boys at The Chicken Hut.
Din at Saint Vitus.
Belle made Nancy vats of slime w pee instead of water for her bday! Yay!
Interesting trash combo.
Salvia & Parma Ham at Hal0
Kyle Flannigan at 202
Sit on Brian Blomerth.
Yellow Tears at Redlight District.
Shoot with Anatomy, March 11, 2020. The last day of any semblance of normalcy.
Dropped off this film the last day I could do so safely. Forgot a roll and kicking myself now. All “non-essential” businesses are closed, and I am not sure when I will have the luxury to shoot more 35 mm photos or develop more… So I wanted to update the blog before these good memories become too hard to look at, should social distancing last several months… I am worried for the world, life as we know it and the future of live music. But maybe if all of this inspires some long needed change to the structure of our country, it will all be worth it. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay connected. XO Jane Pain

PHOTOS FROM WINTER

XinaXurner
Xina Xurner
TheQueen
LittleUglyMane
Lil Ugly Mane
BernardHermann
Bernard Hermann
chloecat
The Flower Slut
LAbaby
Crybaby
BrokenEnglishClub
Broken English Club
KissKissSlit
Volhan
Volhan
TommyWright
Tommy Wright III
Story
Story
Oiltheif
Oiltheif
Profligate
Profligate
nephila
Nephila
Trailof
Cysts
heartmouth
TwigHarper
Twig Harper
BoxBoy
Jamal aka Box Boy aka Cheese Boy
HellonWheels
Moonlight
JaybosGarage
Late Night at Jaybos
Antwon
Antwon
R.Clown
R. Clown
Emil
Emil Bogar-Nasdor
glueeee
Glue
Din
Boan
Speedboat
Speedboat
BlazingEye
Blazing Eye
000011390013
CleanuptheWreckage
DietCoke
Detox
Another Hospital Gown

PHOTOS FROM EARLY WINTER

A deep freeze has descended on New York City just a few days before I leave for a full US / Canadian tour with Pharmakon and I am left bored in my room with a cold. I usually wait longer between photo updates, but this past month or so have been pretty prolific. I feel freer just knowing what I am about to do. Treacherous, redundant days are numbered. The smog has been cut.

Mike & Elias. Late night after Cheena show. The day I quit my job to go on tour.
Mike & Elias. Late night after Cheena show. The day I quit my job to go on tour.

Gabby.
Gabby.

Ht me on my celly.

Rolling dice at Molasses Books.
Rolling dice at Molasses Books.

Karaoke night at 538.

Alexis Gross.
Alexis Gross.

Barry.
Barry & some love birds. New Years Day.

Mose. Institute at Silent Barn.

Horoscope at Silent Barn.
Horoscope at Silent Barn.

Puce Mary & Rodger Stella Collab.
Puce Mary & Rodger Stella Collab.

Underwater contact mic subjected to cheap red wine and sour cream and onion chips. Appetite at Silent Barn.
Underwater contact mic subjected to cheap red wine and sour cream and onion chips. Appetite at Silent Barn.

Gotta eat.
Gotta eat.

Spirital Recess at Legion.
Spiritual Recess at Legion.

Max rolling at a Glue show taking flicks with his new selfie stick at Saint Vitus.
Max rolling at a Glue show taking flicks with his new selfie stick at Saint Vitus.

Weird Luke & Alex Heir.

Rick Weaver at Legion.
Rick Weaver at Legion.

Nandas at Saint Vitus.
Nandas at Saint Vitus.

Me.
Me.

Sort of secret commission project in the works.
Sort of secret commission project in the works.

Glue at Saint Vitus.
Glue at Saint Vitus.

Meow.
Meow.

Margaret.
Margaret.

INTERVIEW WITH MOSES AND ARAK OF INSTITUTE

Hailing from Austin, Texas; Institute emerged in 2013 to become one of my favorite contemporary punk bands going. While made up of members from other Austin hardcore punk staples like Glue, Wiccans and Blotter, Institute is more informed by early 70’s anarcho crossover bands like Crisis and Warsaw (but the dudes are careful not to let themselves be defined as too Gothy). I had a chance to meet up with Moses Brown and Arak Avakian when they happened to be passing through New York City on their way to Toronto. Along with their friend Harry, they were fresh out of a stay in Newport, RI where they had made up a fake contracting business so they afford an ‘opulent’ Canadian getaway; starting off by ordering every appetizer at a fancy French place called Le Gamin in Greenpoint, where I first met the duo.

Following their addictive debut demo, Institute will be releasing a new EP on Sacred Bones Records this October 14.

Well, I wasn’t able to find out much information on you guys. How did Institute come together?

M: I wanted to write some songs, so I just did and recorded them on a four track. I had five songs but then our bass player Adam called me up thinking I had a whole band already. I said “Uhh, No. But I got these songs, you want to do a band?” One of those songs I wrote, “Dead Sea”, was eventually used for Institute, but we as a band wrote the rest of the demo in a month or so after that.

So Adam sort of pushed the band into existence?

M: Yeah, sort of out of confusion.

I was wondering if you intentionally set out to do something really different from the more straight forward punk stuff you were doing with Glue and other bands that you are all involved in?

M: There was no conscious effort. We just wanted to start this band.

That’s sick. I missed you guys when you played here last time, which sucked. But I saw this video of you guys playing in Boston and I was surprised by how hard people were going off. For some reason, when I was listening to the demo… Everything comes off as punk but…

M: It’s melodic…

Yeah, it’s melodic and some parts and weird and some parts are slow. I was wondering how Austin responds to you guys?

A: People Pit!

M: Like it’s Glue… It’s confusing. I think people don’t know what to do. The fact that we are in hardcore bands and usually play hardcore shows in the same scene… Most people that come out want to push around if they like a band.

So moshing is the only way the fans know how to react to music that they like?

M: I want everyone to jump up and down.

A: Most of the time it just seems like everyone wants to be in front of each other.

M: But it is a good response!

What was the response like in New York?

M: It was actually really good! I think Adam Whites said that in New York people are either going to love you or they are going to hate you.

True.

M: He said that we won over the crowd. To me, it was just a show.

A: It felt very regular.

I think that the problem with playing at Lulu’s is also the space was so weird that everyone could have just stood there eating pizza and whatever.

A: Naw, it got wild.

I really like the lyrics to the songs. It isn’t some faux Goth overly sentimental sad shit but not ignorant boring punk posturing. A lot of the songs seem to tell a story, are they autobiographical? Were there any songs that were hard to write?

M: I just want to lyrics to be authentic. I like to be able to scream at people in a crowd about the things I don’t like about myself. That said, I don’t take myself seriously at any point. the lyrics come from the perspective of like “wow look how stupid I am”.

What are you inspired by lyrically? Are there specific themes that you find yourself coming back to?

M: I write about being a kid a lot. How disappointed I am with my childhood. A lot about me being disconnected, shutting myself off. I always say that I wish I had a regular childhood, like got in trouble, pissed off my parents, partied in high school, but I didn’t do any of that. I got nothing out of childhood, I ignored it. I feel screwed up now because of it.

Are you making up for lost time?

M: No! I’m doing the same thing but I’m conscious about doing it now. I am cool with it.

What was your childhood like?

M: I was talking about this recently… Harry was talking about how shitty of a kid he was and … I don’t even think my parents got mad at me.

A: And Moses and I have known each other since we were like ten years old. I would always go out and stay out late and want to break into a building and throw cans of paint onto the highway or drive a golf cart around or whatever and Moses would be like ‘ gotta wake up at seven’, and wouldn’t come along.

M: I was super regimented. When I didn’t have something to do I would wake up and skateboard for three hours and then ride my bike home and … always do the right thing. Or what I thought was the right thing. I didn’t let myself have any fun.

Were you a straight edge kid?

M: Naw. The High school that we went to… There was no straight edge scene. I didn’t even know it was a thing. And then after high school we met people who were in hardcore bands and were like huh?

A: Yeah! And our scene didn’t exist at all until we were kinda older, 19 or something.

Did you guys kind of make it?

A: Kinda.

M: There were definitely older guys who had bands but there is definitely a new batch of bands in Austin.

A: There have always been bands in Austin, but not always crowds

Did you start playing music together?

A: Pretty much. I used to go over to Moses’s house to skateboard. At some point I got a guitar for Christmas. His Dad had a studio and all this sick gear. I was really amazed; I had a six-inch practice amp and this shitty guitar…

What was your first band together?

M: Lemonade Stand Syndicate. It was really bad.

What were your influences?

M: The Hives and the Dead Kennedy’s.

That is an interesting combo.

A: Right?

M: It was weird.

A: I wanted to start that band because I knew a kid in my class and I thought that he talked crazy. I asked him to sing in the band and swore it was a real band.

M: We played like three shows… We played a wedding…

You played a wedding!?

A: Ya! It was cool.

M: I think the demo is still up on myspace.

Insititute

I am curious about your decision to release a record with Sacred Bones but also don’t wanna do any PR or any of that stuff.

M: We wanted to work with them. When the demo came out and people liked it, we decided to say yes to whatever we could do. Why the hell not?

A: The demo was pressed onto a 12’ on Deranged and the whole experience kinda sucked. We didn’t know the dude, and we had no idea what was going on.

M: He was distant from everything, from the artwork to the pressing at the factory; it was like no one knew what was going on. But after we did the 7’ with Adam…

And he is on top of his shit for sure.

M: Yeah. And with the new record… I am insane about the artwork and the way that things look. Sacred Bones were down to do all this screen-printing, making sure the jackets were the exact paper that I want.

A: And they offer any opportunity from zero to one hundred. We just knew between meeting Taylor and Caleb and playing a few shows with Destruction Unit that it was the right choice to make.

Well, the album art seems important to you, Moses. And I know that you make art as well. Tell me a little bit about the artwork for the album and how your personal art differs from art that is associated with the music that you make?

M: The whole theme of Institute is really influenced by Dada stuff. I am into abstracting Dada. Stupid shit. Dada was already about the absurd, so I’ve just been making it even more absurd by cutting images up and scrambling them around. I wanna steal things and take them to a next step. I am not sure how it connects to the music really, except that Dada is punk. The new personal art I’m trying to make is honestly informed by Institute art. Institute could have gone a very different way, in terms of how it looks. The first demo was brutalist architecture… Very angular, black and grey. But it looked too Goth.

A: We had to be really careful not to step into being too Gothy.

Come on!

M: We have nothing against death rock; we just want to be a punk band.

But there are definitely parts of your music that seems informed by peace punk and Goth? Especially the guitar work. Are you into those things but careful about being a punk band?

A: It’s hard to specifically cite our influences, because we write everything together,

M: The feel of the band and the direction that it is going in is very much like early anarcho / death rock back before it was defined and basically just still punk. The demo feel, epileptics that 1st UK Decay 7”. All of the classics’ demos. Then obviously Crisis and Warsaw. I like a lot of death rock stuff, but I am more into the early stuff that is more punk.

So you guys have a new drummer?

M: Yeah, I think our old drummer was having trouble balancing being in a band and going to school.

A: Our drummer used to sing for the band Recide. They played for four years and just recently stopped playing. I don’t want to say that it was his baby or anything, but it seemed to be everything to him musically.

So who is drumming now?

M: His name is Barry, he is from Houston. He plays in Back to Back.

A: We are good friends with everyone in that band. I was always listening to their demo and thinking, fuck, these drums are really good. As it turns out, Barry had recorded everything on all their records. He is just one of those guys that can do that. We had one practice and I feel like we can tour again already.

Do you think he can change the direction of the band at all?

M: He’s on the exact same frequency as us

I thought Houston was pretty far from Austin?

A: It’s about two hours, but in Texas, that is not that far to go. You are used to driving. If you wanted to drive to LA from Austin, you’d already be half way by the time that you have left Texas.

I know there is a pretty good scene going in Austin right now. Are there any bands that you feel are being overlooked?

M: Pinkos got overlooked hard. They are no longer together.

A: Scattered across the USA now.

M: But they might reform in Chicago. They were really good and nobody cared about them. There are also a bunch of good brand new bands but I don’t have much of a connection to them yet. Pinkos were one of those bands that I loved and I couldn’t understand why nobody else did.

A: There is a band called Detestados. They don’t have a demo or anything, but they have probably played six or seven shows. Spanish vocals, but sounds like Italian hardcore. It’s tight.

Any other new Austin music to look out for?

M: Adam just started this band called Bad Faith, our 16 year old friend Parker is in this new band called Stacker. All these bands are demo-less, but that’ll change soon.

A: Try and listen to the new 7” on Video Disease from Iron Youth.

M: Not a punk band, but I just finished a tape of experimental music I’ve been working on called Peacetime Death. I have to mix it, but then it’ll be totally done.

Well, before we sign off, I got to ask you about your vacation!

M: It’s good!

A: So good. We love Newport.

M: It’s cool too because we just got back from Glue tour which was essentially a vacation. We went West and just hung out at the beach everyday and saw nature.

A: I have been on vacation since May fourth. My lease ended at my house and I graduated from college a few days later. The morning after that I left for Institute tour. I’ve just had the same four tee shirts in my bag all summer. Anyway, tonight we are going to surprise our friends in Impalers when we show up in Toronto. Take that, read this in the future.

You can pre-order ‘Salt EP’ from Sacred Bones Records now: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com/products/sbr119-institute-salt-ep