Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meet The Band: Ailments

Band name: Ailments

Location: From Olean and Ithaca, New York.

Formed: December of 2008 as a guitar and drums two piece. Justin Tarr was added on bass in the fall of 2009.

Tyler Rodkey-guitar, vocals, songwriting
Noah Kenyon-drums, vocals, songwriting
Justin Tarr-bass, vocals, driving

150 copies of our self released 13 song demo cd (copies still available),
125 copies of our self released 12 song cd ep "Tom Jonesin'" (2 re-recorded tracks from the demo and 10 new tracks, still available),
100 copies of "Tom Jonesin'" were also released on cassette tape by the Rochester, NY DIY label Delinquent Records (different artwork, still available)
Split 7" with Ithaca's Genital Holograms coming this summer.

You can check myspace.com/ailmentslive for updates on Olean and Ithaca release shows. This will be the the first Ailments’ release containing our new bass playing Justin Tarr.

Tell us about yourselves!
Ailments was started as a meditation on suffering and the conflict with the human's basic mental and physical capacity to overcome that suffering. Whether personal, political, or spiritual, most of our songs are about our current status and emotional view on the possibilities to overcome this suffering and also the possibilities of pure failure.

Our sound is quite hard to describe because it always tends to shift wherever our energy takes it while clinging like a vice to the raw power violence
and hardcore punk we grew up on and gained infinite inspiration from. We have a stew of influences that come out in our sound such as They Live, Fucked Up, MC5, The Stooges, Running For Cover, His Hero Is Gone, Catharsis, Face Down In Shit, and a plethora of others. Since recently adding our new bass player Justin Tarr our sound has slithered towards some late 60's/early 70's psychedelic rock leaving Tyler open to do more random dirty leads and experiment a bit more with previously written Ailments songs. With that said our songs will never stray far from our hardcore punk roots, it's just not possible.

Our purpose as a band is to create a breed of art that will help distract us from our personal struggle on this earth and the struggle the earth itself is obviously faced with. We want to grow as musicians together while continuing to experiment with 10+ years of hardcore punk influence from the perspective of 3 widely open musical minds.

The background of Ailments can be dug up pretty deep so I'll just start from scratch. Tyler and I started going to shows sometime around the year 2000 at a rad local Olean venue called The Cobra La. Both of us gained a ton of inspiration from local Olean bands and people as well as bands from the Buffalo area such as They Live, No Time Left, and Abusing The Word. I began drumming and touring the states with my first real pop punk-ish band (The Young Ones) when I was only 15, Alex Kerns from Lemuria was also in this band. We had a few successful US tours with the longest being around 40 days I believe. After The Young Ones I did a hardcore band called Splag that I sang for with Sheena from Lemuria. I believe you can still get the Splag 7" from Punks Before Profits Records, rad DIY label run by a good friend so please check it out. The last band I did before Ailments was called Aura, our style fluttered from genre to genre with odd time signatures and ear crushing volume. Aside from Ailments I do an indie/pop-punk band with Justin called The Samsa Complex and I also play acoustic guitar in the Olean acoustic guitar/violin duo Team Grease.

Tyler did bands in Olean called Rejected Underdogs and Funeral For America prior to starting Ailments with me. He also continues to do his solo acoustic stuff and plays acoustic shows from time to time. Both his previous bands had the same drummer as Splag. Our newly acquired bass player Justin started going to shows in Olean around 2005 when we were doing shows in this really rad basement on Center Street (thanks Sadi). One of the first bands Justin saw was Tyler's band Funeral For America so it's pretty gnarly that we all ended up playing together. Justin played bass for a band called Maiden China that had a pretty raw grunge vibe prior to joining Ailments. He also currently plays bass in a local indie/pop-punk band with me called

The Samsa Complex. All 3 of us were involved with setting up and playing shows at The Olean Art Space starting in 2007 until it closed sometime in 2008. The Olean Art Space was self sustaining but really wouldn't have survived as long as it did without the help of Tyler's family. Justin and I are to this day still involved in setting up DIY shows in Olean at houses and other spots.

So far, the high point of this band totally has to be the 15 day tour we did of the northeast last spring when we were still a two piece. It was definitely the best tour I've been on and I've been greasin' it up in a beat up van for 10 years now. The sickest venues on that tour would probably have to be The Sweatshop in Providence, RI, The Dayton Dirt Collective in Dayton, OH, and of course the house shows in Pittsburgh, PA and a couple in Michigan. We played, drove, and did just about everything else in certain mind states that most people wouldn't even try to sit in a chair if they felt in such a way. After the show at The Sweatshop we watched this dude get off the couch after sleeping for a bit, turn around and take a piss right where he was lying, and then layed right back down to sleep in it. In Pittsburgh we saw a similar act but this dude was blacked out in an upright position and pretty much just "fountained" himself on the stomach and chest, it was fucking priceless! We partied hard and played even harder on that tour and now we've got a straight edge bass player to drive us around, help build our following, and of course babysit us when needed. How he can handle our behavior is beyond me but it's a beautiful thing, Justin meshes with our reckless insanity like a missing puzzle piece.

After we do Olean and Ithaca release shows for the upcoming split 7" with Genital Holograms we plan to do a brief northeast tour to promote the release and then Ailments as a band will be moving to Arizona and using my mom's house as a temporary home base so we can all live slightly bill and responsibility free for a while and concentrate on spreading our sounds, energies, passions, ideas, struggles, and of course our friendships to all parts of the world that might be so kind to openly welcome them.

Support DIY music and all other DIY art all over the world, especially in Olean and Ithaca and keep your eyes and ears open for info on our 7" release show!!!