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California Garage Punks Audacity Talk Social D, Screech + New Album ‘Butter Knife’

Audacity
Bryan Crowe

Audacity have been bashing out ace garage-punk jams for roughly a dozen years, and listening to their latest album, ‘Butter Knife,’ released earlier this week on Suicide Squeeze, it’s easy to see why they’ve kept at it for so long. If there’s a better way to spend your 20s than drinking beers and dropping fuzzy noise-bombs with your bestest buds, mankind has yet to find it. The foursome from Fullerton, Calif., are several dates into a U.S. tour that includes shows with Hunters and Mean Jeans and runs through early December, and before piling into the van, the fellas were nice enough to answer a handful of email questions.

You guys are from Fullerton. That’s Social Distortion country. Did you grow up worshipping Mike Ness? If so, what’s your favorite of his songs?

We love the real Mike Ness, as seen in the movie ‘Another State of Mind,’ when he’s applying makeup in the mirror, explaining how it represents his intense emotions. That Mike Ness is still somewhere inside his current incarnation. Some choice Social D cuts include ‘Another State of Mind, ‘Story of My Life,’ ‘Mommy’s Little Monster’ and ‘Ball and Chain.’

This new record is more polished than, say, the stuff on ‘Power Drowning,’ but we’re still talking about fast and catchy guitar songs. Do you ever feel constrained, or is the joy of cranking your amp and singing a great hook still pretty much as good as it gets?

We love loud guitar catchy music — that is our bread and butter — but we still love to do other stuff and branch out and experiment with other vibes and whatnot. Our new album has a few very ballady songs, and each track varies between different types of emotions and feelings, from anger to melancholy to joy and wistfulness.

Do you think there’s anything inherently West Coast — or California — about your sound?

We’re all definitely California people, but we’re not necessarily all about the beach or think of ourselves as a surf band. We do love a lot of music from Southern California and Orange County, such as the aforementioned Social D and the Adolescents, Christian Death, Jackson Browne, Snoop Dogg and on and on. All kinds of great music comes from SoCal, and it’s not always stereotypical surfer-dude stuff. But we love surfing too, bra!!

You have a sound and spirit similar to that of FIDLAR and the So So Glos, to name just two bands that instantly spring to mind. Do you feel a part of any kind of new garage-punk movement?

We’re buddies with all these bands, but we feel like we’re each doing different things musically. We all enjoy to drink beer, and in that way, our spirits are similar.

Assuming for a second there is a movement, and it winds up being as influential as the CBGBs scene, and it one day inspires a major motion picture, who should play you guys?

If Jim Arnie (Ernest) was alive, he would play Thomas [Alvarez]. Dustin Diamond (Screech) would play Cameron [Crowe]. The actor who played Draco Malfoy [in the Harry Potter series] would play Matt [Schmalfeld] and Larry David would be Kyle [Gibson].

How did the album’s closer, ‘Autumn,’ which starts off as a kind of piano ballad, come about? Will you play that one live?

The song is about a friend that passed away, and the repercussions of that. We have played the song live a few times, and will probably play it occasionally.

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