Saturday, June 12, 2010

Interview with Jewlz of Burning Streets

As Burning Streets head off on their summer tour and prepare for their first show in Ithaca ever, Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine gets the background on the band, the tour, and their Sailors Grave Records debut "Is It In Black & White".

IU: How have the first few days of the tour gone so far?

Jewlz: The first few days have been good so far. Down in the Carolina's right now, got some beautiful weather going on. Perfect place to start off a summer tour. We had our bass head break on us last night but we got that fixed this morning and hopefully that'll last the whole trip now. We've also been able to hang out with Lenny Lashley from Darkbuster for these first few days as well which has been a hilarious time. He's on the road now doing an acoustic act so it's been awesome to hook up with him for the first three days of the trip.

IU: You're on tour for close to two months solid - is one of the longer tours you've done?

Jewlz: Yeah, this is the longest one we've done so far. We were out for a month last winter and a month and a half last summer so we're getting used to it. We're all definitely looking forward to the whole trip though. Spending close to the whole summer playing shows is basically the best way we can spend our time.
Also, being able to have sponsor this trip is something we're all looking forward to.

IU: Any cities or spaces you're particularly stoked about playing again or playing for the first time?

Jewlz: Ithaca for one, heard some good things about The Berettas out there. Other than that were pretty excited to get back out to the West coast and up to Canada again this summer. We've got some spots lined up that we haven't been to before that we're hoping are good too like some places down in Florida. The show we have lined up in St. Paul, MN is one of the one's were looking forward to the most for sure. Also, July 7th at Asubury Lanes w/ Born To Lose should be a great show.

IU: You and Drew are brothers, correct? Does your musical collaboration date further back then Burning Streets and if so, how long have you been playing music together?

Jewlz: For Drew and I this is our first time working together on music. Drew and our drummer, Chris were in a punk band for a few years in High School. Zarba, our guitar player, lived the town over from us and had a band that played a lot of shows with Drew and Chris' old band. After both of those bands faded away, we all were at a party one night and threw around the idea of getting a band together and a few months later Burning Streets came about.

IU: How was your experience recording your debut with Jim Seigel?

Jewlz: Recording with Jim was definitely an experience. You can ask anyone who has worked with him before. He's somewhat of a mad scientist when it comes to recording music. Also, being in the same studio where Dropkick, Far From Finished, Blood For Blood and Darkbuster did their records was pretty surreal. Jim has a table in his control room with all the bands who have worked there leave their mark so we found ourselves reading the table all day when we weren't recording.

IU: Tell us about The Stinky Twinkie!

Jewlz: The Twinkie is the 5th member of Burning Streets without a doubt. Its pretty easy to spot, bright yellow with a white zit (luggage cap) on the roof. Drew actually works at a sign shop so we got some vinyl lettering printed out and got that thrown on the side of the van right now. We've gotten our share of weird looks on the highway but its a great van. We have everyone we meet along the way grab a sharpie and leave their mark inside so its a good way to us to remember our tours, some of the places we've been and the people we've met.

IU: By the time you reach us With your Sailor's Grave Records debut "Is it in B&W" will have a good 7 months under your belt. Looking back what are your reflections on the creation & release expereince and its success?

Jewlz: Just the fact that we were able to release our first CD through SGR was awesome. We used to joke about it when we first started up because they carried so many bands that influenced us such as the Ducky Boys and Welch Boys. Reflecting back on it, it is going much better than we could have imagined. We've gotten some pretty positive feedback on it and now we're out on our 3rd tour with plans to head to Europe for the first time in October. Since the release we really feel that things have been going in the right direction and we're really enjoying the ride so far.

IU: I couldn't find much on the band predating "Is it in Black & White" - any history or previous self releases we should know about?

Jewlz: Before the CD came out there wasn't much to us. We actually recorded the CD a year after we formed. Before that we had a 5 song demo that we would show up at shows with and hand out for free. We did some mini 1 to 2 week tours with the demo, we'd have to get to venues early and burn a bunch of copies to hand out each night. It's nice now not having to worry about burning a bunch of CD's or buying a bunch of blanks every few days.

IU: What's the funniest thing that's happened to you on tour?

Jewlz: Looking back on the tours we've had some weird shit happen. We got denied at the Canadian border before and ended up camping out up in Maine one night at some campground with a big lake in it. We rented a few paddle boats and were getting drunk on the lake. After a few beers Drew stood up to take a piss, Zarba reached over and started shaking his boat. He fell down bare-assed on top of Chris and their boat flipped over. There ended up being a bunch of empties floating in the lake and watching them trying to flip the boat back over was a pretty good time. The last time we were in Canada, our Drummer Chris tried to drink a gallon of Chocolate Milk while we were trying to kill a few hours before a show...he got about three-quarters of the way through it and barfed it all back out. There's been some solid moments before and there should be a bunch more coming up on this tour.