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Awesome review from Surviving the Golden Age
“It’s not just about surviving, but thriving, even when the resources available don’t lend themselves to easy success. In the face of such limitations, it makes the wins, however small, seem miraculous. The optimism of these songs would be anthemic, if it weren’t so constantly threatening to fall apart and that’s just right.”
Sometimes, you just come across a band you love. The music is good, and the band is full of cool musicians that make you dig their music even more. Bellingham, meet Oakland’s Victory and Associates. For those that don’t already love them, you will.
Brent Cole: Can you give me some background on the band – how long have you been together? How did you get together? What bands have you guys been in?
Conan Neutron of Victory and Associates: Sure thing. Victory and Associates started playing in early 2010. Everybody in the band has been playing for years in other bands, the most known of which for Bellingham are probably my old bands the short lived Mount Vicious and longer lived Replicator. These Things are Facts is our first full length record, after a 7″, a split 7″ with Hurry Up Shotgun and a compilation appearance. TTaF is accurately categorized as a “get things done” kind of record, it’s a raucous and intense rock and roll affair that has the interesting twist of being a generally positive, motivationally theme. Although we curse like sailors in regular life, there is no profanity in the songs. The idea was to create a fantastic rock and roll band that eschews the cliche and excess of the rock idioms that we all enjoy, play it as honest and as hard as we can, and write some awesome feel good music that doesn’t make you feel bad.
BC: You’ve played Bellingham often, more regularly for a national band than you’d expect. How have Bellingham audiences responded to the RAWK?
CN: We have! We absolutely adore Bellingham, it’s one of our favorite places to play. We love the people, the places, everything about it. I would rate Bellingham as one of the most awesome RAWK cities in all of the US. That’s not a pander, THESE THINGS ARE FACTS. For such a small place, Bellingham gets down with the rockin’, but you don’t have to dumb it down either. There is an absence of pretension and the kind of background music for background people that is so prevalent elsewhere. The first V&A show at Cap Hansen’s ranks as one of my top 10 shows of all time, and i’ve been touring at large for over a decade! I mean damn, this is the city that brought us Federation X! One of the finest and most criminally unsung rock acts of the last 15 years. We adore Bellingham, Hollie from the Shakedown calls us “honorary locals”, we wear that badge with honor. I mean hey, B’ham is also home to national treasure Richy Boyer, that alone is landmark status for me. We’ve joked about writing a song called Bullet train to Bellingham, which would be both a Drive Like Jehu homage as well as shorthand for how much we love the place. It may yet happen.
BC: How many tours have you guys been on? What’s the farthest you’ve travelled?
CN: This is… #4 I think? Unfortunately due to real life commitments and the insane cost of gas, V&A hasn’t gotten out further east than Chicago. But we’re hoping to change that now that we have a very awesome and representative record to get behind. All things considered, V&A is still a very new band, but the fact that it’s a group comprised of unjaded seasoned veterans who have no time for Tom Foolery and wasted time has served us well.
BC: Tell me a bit about the Oakland scene, what makes it so cool. Seems like there’s a lot of great music coming out of the bay area.
CN: There is. It’s fragmented. There’s the metal scene, the garage rock world, indie pop, etc. Some of the stuff that’s getting national attention doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me, but I appreciate that it’s pretty good for what it is. There are a lot of artists here. Sometimes that can get damn annoying, especially when you have to head up to Friend Rock City so regularly. The coolest thing about thing about Oakland/SF is also it’s deteriment. It’s a bit of an island. There’s a lot of bands that never, ever tour or leave the bubble of the bay area, which I just don’t think is a good thing at all. That leads to an echo chamber of bad art. Then there are bands like Thee Oh Sees and Saviours who tour like crazy and make everybody look lazy. Hurry Up Shotgun is an incredible Oakland band that everybody should pay attention to, and there are a ton of other rad bands happening too. Moon Eater. Hank IV. It’s not cohesive in the least. Everybody in the bay area is permanently in a state of distraction. That can be really annoying. I do wish it wasn’t so damn expensive to live here sometimes, but it’s a remarkably great place to live. Amazing people, amazing music, amazing food, amazing weather. And you can drink on stage! (haha! IN YOUR FACE Washington State)
BC: Who plays which instrument?
Conan Neutron (Me) – Vocals/Guitar/Lyrics/Sweat
Shane Otis – Lead Guitar
Evan Gritzon – Bass/Vocals
Mouse Menough – Drums
BC: How many people donated to the kickstarter? Were they local or from all over?
CN: 96 people for a total of $5,151! I’d say it was about 60% bay area, 15% Pacific Northwest, 15% Midwest, 10% elsewhere…. including CROATIA!
BC: If you could open up for anyone, who would it be?
CN: Queens of the Stone Age, Melvins, Torche, Cheap Trick, Archers of Loaf, Federation X, Obits, Night Marchers, Bottomless Pit, Future of the Left, Poster Chlidren. We’ve gotten within spitting distance of some of those, and I daresay: Some we may yet pull off. I also have to say that Virgin Islands and Police Teeth are two of my favorite American bands, no fooling. So this triple bill is kind of one for the record books for me. There are some rock nerds not in the Bellingham area that are pretty jealous of folks about to see this bill. I’m pretty stoked to see those two incredible bands do their thing, I think it’s a great match at a great venue. I would attend this show even if it wasn’t our Bellingham tour stop!
BC: This is gonna sound corny, but you’ve been really cool and easy to work with. Is that just who you are, or have you made it a conscious effort to be awesome to deal with? ‘Cuz, I’ve gotta assume, it’s helped out along the way… Did with me, that’s for sure!
CN: Hah! Well thanks, I guess it’s just the way that I am? Some of it is that i’ve been on the other side of the situation as well, but mostly I just don’t understand when people get so entitled that they make a journalist’s job harder. I look at it like symbiosis, great music journalism and music criticism are a vital part to the process. It leads discovery, it helps get the signal out over the noise. I mean, come on, you’re going to get precious about that or throw a fit like a child? Get over yourself. It’s all part of making this music thing work. I’m just always thankful when people are willing to listen to me rattle on.
BC: On that note, you don’t shy away from promotion – how do you see the place of promotion in the modern music scene?
CN: Necessary evil. The biggest problem with all of our modern age is that it’s EVERYTHING AT ONCE, ALL THE TIME. You put out a record, it’s not competing with what came out that week, it’s competing with all music all the time, as well as anything else on the internet. A lot of which has boobs. It can be infuriating. I mean, i’m sure it’s great to just sit around and have your genius recognized, but for the rest of us we have to work. Doing something of note rarely ends at writing a song or booking a tour. There’s a lot of art and music out there that seems to lack purpose, direction or justification for it’s existence, we believe in what we are doing fully and completely and part of actualizing that vision is letting people know that it’s happening. The message behind these songs is one that I think people should hear right now, it’s a record of our times you know? We’re trying to invite people to this party, and part of that is letting them know that it is happening.
BC: Who is the coolest band you’ve played with?
CN: Helms Alee are amazing, total next level stuff right there. Great band, great folks. I have a special place in my heart for Iowa’s Poison Control Center, who are absolutely one of the finest live acts in the country right now and who we hope to tour some with next year. Dog Shredder, CONTINUES, But our “brothers from another mother” Police Teeth really do rank among the highest, not just as awesome dudes, but as one of the bands that’s just doing stuff that’s so vital it’s a little amazing that the greater world hasn’t caught on. It’s not a surprise that they become every band’s favorite band. I treasure each and every time we play with them, and frankly… it makes me want to play harder and be better. Which is the kind of competition you need to have. I like to think we have the same effect on them. The Pacific Northwest is really pumping out some quality stuff in my mind these days.
BC: Any last thoughts?
CN: I’m not sure why it’s never came up in other press, but These Things are Facts (our album title) is actually inspired by Bellingham! From the first Victory and Associates tour, a tour packed with enough rich, hilarious and awesome experiences to fill a book itself. At that show I mentioned earlier at Cap’s, a night of incredible fun, debauchery and general silliness. Later, in Portland, on the way back from our first tour and one of our guys said to the other:
“I’ll bet every other girl you make out with in Bellingham pukes on you.”
to which a random gentlemen, who is walking by… doesn’t break stride… stlll walking… asks:
“You guys talking about Bellingham, Washington?”
“These things are FACTS!!!”
We knew we had the album title right then, come on, how do you beat that? These Things are Facts!!!
For more, check out
Victory and Associates — THESE THINGS ARE FACTS lp [Seismic Wave Entertainment]
Okay, first fact: journalistic ethics requires me to divulge up front that I am biased about this album. Not only is singer / guitarist Conan Neutron a friend of mine, but I participated in the Kickstarter fundraiser that made the existence of this album possible. Second fact: even if these things were not true, I would happily sing the praises of this swell, swell band. (I contributed to the Kickstarter fund because I was already a fan of the band and knew they were going to make something worth hearing.) Third fact: the band is a quartet from Oakland, CA who play a loud, bracing form of pop-rock that draws equally from the wells of punk, indie-rock, and classic rock to craft memorable, anthemic tunes that are every bit as catchy as they rock hard. Fourth fact: the guys in this band have all been playing in rocking live bands for some time now; they are not even remotely neophytes at the at the art of fucking you gently in the ear, and their collective dedication to the fine art of winging it in front of drunks has only sharpened their already formidable playing skills. Fifth fact: they write really good songs, primarily uptempo anthems with titles like “Get Tough, Get Through It,” “You Can’t Eat Prestige” (probably my favorite track on the album), “Brothers Doing It For Themselves,” “You Can’t Stop the Signal,” “Mistake Museum,” and “Home Is Where You Hang Your Hope.” They even manage to sound upbeat with tremendous sincerity without coming across as naive geeks (a monumental sense of humor, merely hinted at in the satirical titles, certainly helps). Sixth fact: They are an irony-free band. Humor they have in spades, but they really mean it, and while they don’t take themselves all that seriously, they take their music (and, to an equal degree, their responsibility to their fans and supporters) seriously indeed. Seventh fact: if you buy the vinyl version, you may never make it to the second side because the first side is so awesome that you’ll want to keep it playing it over and over. (When you do eventually flip the record over, you’ll discover that the flip side is just as good.) Eighth fact: There are no bad songs on this album, a rarity in this day and age. Ninth fact: The packaging for the LP version of this release is exceptional. We’re talking 180-gram translucent red vinyl housed in a full-color gatefold sleeve and an accompanying full-sized booklet with amazing photos, lyrics, and liner notes. Tenth fact: Did I mention that Mackie Osborne (that would be the wife of Melvins guitarist King Buzzo, fool, the woman responsible for their memorable album graphics) did the amazing cover art? Eleventh fact: You can preview the entire album in streaming format (and buy it in vinyl or download format) at their Bandcamp site. Twelfth fact: my cats, who have much better taste than I do, approve of this album. Thirteenth fact: if you can’t enjoy an album this awesome (in both sound and packaging), then there is something wrong with you, and you should maybe, like, I don’t know, look into that or something, all right?
Thanks Roy! As always, you are totally awesome.
I was introduced to Victory And Associates through their friendship with The Poison Control Center, and I can see why the two bands get along. There are definitely some similarities in their sound, but they also differ greatly in attitude and philosophy.
These guys, hailing from the bay area, go for the throat at every turn. The vocals and guitars are very aggressive, which honestly was a problem for me at first. On my initial spin through These Things Are Facts, I found it a bit overwhelming. It’s a loud record, and I couldn’t make everything out with my ears ringing. Luckily I always listen to an album a few times before reviewing it. As it turns out, Victory And Associates have a lot to say.
Once I got into it a little bit, and let that inner-skate punk in my soul (maybe that’s where it is) come out and play, things started sounding different. For starters, does anyone else think that Conan Neutron’s voice sounds a little like Fred Schneider’s? No? Maybe that’s just me. Regardless, these guys have a lot more going on than a “Rock Lobster.” Beneath those crushing guitars lay some pretty good lyrics that take on issues above the normal heartbreak and angst. For instance, on the song “Can’t Eat Prestige,” Neutron sings:
Well the war is over, the fight was fixed
a campaign to make you poor, while they stay rich.
This isn’t the last chapter, i’m turning the pages back
we’ve been defending too long, let’s plot a counter attack
You just, live life like you’re under siege
you can’t pay bills with praise, you can’t eat prestige
I’ve been down so long, I stopped making up jokes
I’d need some investors to get up to broke
and it’s like: 1,2,3,4, they declared a class war
and all we declared was bankruptcy
I love the little snapshots of influences the band doles out randomly as well. Sometimes you’ll hear a little AC/DC, then Van Halen, and a bunch of other little things that last for about two or three seconds. And they make them all sound exactly as they should, like a band building on those that came before. The guys that make up Victory And Associates obviously have a good working knowledge of the music that shaped them, and it’s always nice to pay tribute.
Speaking of the band, man they’re good. I mentioned Conan, who sings and plays rhythm guitar, the band also has Shane Otis, who plays some blistering leads, Evan Gritzon playing bass in a tough genre, and Mouse Menough delivering percussion at 128 bpm. They’re a bit more punk than I usually get into, but I find myself enjoying this record more and more with every listen.
What I really want is for them to come out to Chicago and do a show so I can see them live, because I assume their set would be amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to indie rock shows that are mellow, but a show that can pump a ton of energy into a room can be life-altering (see: Titus Andronicus). So please, I’m begging you Victory And Associates, come out to Chicago!
Do yourself a favor and pick up These Things Are Facts when you get a chance. The official release party isn’t until September 16th, but you can listen to the whole thing and purchase it here. I would recommend “Can’t Eat Prestige,” “You Can’t Stop The Signal,” “Get Tough, Get Through It,” and “Home Is Where You Hang Your Hope” as the top songs to get you into the album.
Great site and great review, thanks Music.Defined.
Check out this incredible review of TTaF from the ever awesome Stripwax
This week, Jeff heads out to Los Angeles to talk up Victory And Associates shiny new elpee These Things Are Factswith two of his favorite little characters, Spike and Blondie.
Jeff: So Blondie, did you two swipe yer sister’s car and drive up to San Francisco to catch a Victory And Associates show?
Blondie: Nah. Her car is a dumpster with an engine in it.
Spike: We’d get about as far as Pasadena with that thing. Maybe.
Jeff: Well… good. I was worried about you doods getting arrested. You know what the deal here is, right?
Blondie: We’re gonna talk about These Things Are Facts by Victory And Associates.
Spike: And then yer gonna buy us beer.
Jeff: Yes. We’re gonna go over the elpee track by track but no, I’m not gonna buy you beer. So, this thing opens up with a freaking ANTHEM called “Get Tough, Get Through It.” What’d you guys think?
Spike: Rocks. Rad.
Blondie: It’s fast, dood. I jump around a lot to that one. I’m really glad I sell all my Ritalin instead of taking it cuz like, I probably wouldn’t feel this one, y’know? It rocks.
Jeff: It really sets the tone for the entire elpee. Victory And Associates is such an appropriate name for this band… the common theme through the majority of these tracks is all about overcoming obstacles, and yeah, this one is quick and razor sharp. It’s a great opening track. So the next one is “You Can’t Eat Prestige.” What’d you think?
Blondie: Baller. And the guitars are total baller.
Spike: I thought the singer was saying “You can’t eat crisp cheese.” That’s not what it is?
Blondie: Dood. No. Like, the whole point of the song title is, you gotta get paid at some point. It’s cool that people like stuff that you do and they talk about stuff that you do, but like, you can’t live off of that.
Jeff: And the song itself is again talking about battling the odds, but this time from a particularly working class point of view.
Spike: I wish it was “crisp cheese.” I’m still gonna sing it that way.
Blondie: “Brothers Doing It For Themselves” is another one where, that thing you were saying about getting tough and getting through stuff…
Jeff: Yeah. This one is kind of a DIY fight song, and the whole DIY ethic requires a lot of getting tough and getting through stuff. You guys ever heard Public Enemy? This title reminds me of “Brothers Gonna Work It Out”.
Spike: Don’t know ‘em.
Blondie: Are they old?
Jeff: Public Enemy? Yeah, but their stuff holds up really well. I’ll play some for you sometime. Next up,“Doubtbreak.”
Spike: Yeah. Another fast one with some rad guitars!
Blondie: Another one I like to jump around to!
Jeff: Ok, the guitar interplay is what I like best here. Another band you guys maybe haven’t heard of: The Libertines. “Doubtbreak” opens up just like I remember some harder, faster Libertines tunes. We’ll dig out some Libertines too so you can hear what I’m talking about. Alright, so “You Can’t Stop The Signal” is next…
Spike: Total rock. With pirates, right? Spazzy loud guitar and drum bashing pirates.
Jeff: Definitely something happening on a ship. And that Victory theme comes up again:
“There are other stories, but this one’s ours/We shall not falter we will not cower…”
Blondie: You really like that, huh?
Jeff: The positivity these guys generate? Oh, hell yes. Especially with all the self-pitying crybaby rock bands that are out there.
Spike: Dood. Emo bands. All I can hear is their eyeliner, weeping awa.
Jeff: Later, you doods need to explain emo to me, cuz I don’t know what it is.
Blondie: Spike can probably tell it better.
Jeff: Ok, cool. Now, “Funundrum.” Heh heh. Thoughts?
Spike: HELLA FUCKING BALLER.
Blondie: Spike, like, c’mon. Calm down.
Jeff: He’s right though.
Blondie: It’s ok if we say stuff like that?
Jeff: In this particular case and this particular song, I’d say it’s a dead-on comment.
Blondie: HELLA FUCKING BALLER!
Jeff: Yeah, it’s like listening to an explosion. Best track on the elpee, I’d say, and man, it’s got East Bay written all over it. The Fleshies, Dead Kennedys… its right about here where Victory’s singer Conan Neutron made me think of Jello Biafra.
Spike: Jello Biafra, that’s a cool name.
Blondie: So is Conan Neutron. I’m picturing a dood the size of a Gundam wearing, like, a labcoat with a test tube in his clenched fist.
Jeff: Next up is “Not Returning,” which takes some weird turns. It starts out sounding like… geez, I dunno, like Lene Lovich new wave but ends up in a guitar power overdrive.
Spike: I like that he got out of his town in the song. Like, I can totally relate. I like Los Angeles, but dood…
Blondie: Our neighborhood blows balls.
Spike: Big, hairy balls.
Blondie: “I left my hometown because of cultural toxicity/I needed more than liquor stores and cable tv…”
Spike: I feel that. Throw in a few crackheads outside the liquor store and I totally feel that.
Jeff: Again, this is what I love most about this record — the consistent messaging about overcoming the shit. And you guys, I have to think that these songs were written with guys like you in mind, you know? This song, and a lot of these songs are saying “You don’t have to put up with the bullshit and you can do something about it.”And guys, it’s true, you don’t have to feel like victims. Get tough, get through it, and get out if you need to. Someday you will.
Jeff: “Noises, Voices, You” says the same thing.
Blondie: With some more rad guitar, dood.
Spike: They need to get that shit on Guitar Hero. Seriously. That crazy squealing solo in the middle? Whoa.
Jeff: Ok…“Mistake Museum”?
Spike: Rad name for a song.
Jeff: You know what I like most about this one? The way they salute Police Teeth toward the end with that “little bit higher” chorus.
Spike: Police what?
Jeff: Police Teeth. Let’s make them the first thing we listen to later on. Yer both gonna love ‘em.
Blondie: Truth though… I’ve been skipping over ”Mistake Museum” to get to “Turn Down The Guitars (’11).”
Spike: Yeah, they don’t turn ‘em down at all in that one.
Jeff: And the closer: “Home Is Where You Hang Your Hope.”
Spike: They got tough.
Blondie: They got through it.
Spike: It’s not like the, ummm… rock-est thing on the record.
Jeff: Yeah, I’d say it’s the closest thing to a pop song.
Spike: But I see what yer saying about what, like, what all of the songs seem to be about… getting through stuff.
Blondie: And hope.
Spike: Yeah, hope. Like my Mom hopes all the time she spends on video poker down at the AM/PM will pay off someday.
Blondie: Not THAT kinda hope! Hope in yerself, not in, you know, luck or whatever.
Spike: I know, dood. I think she needs to listen to these songs.
Jeff: Play ‘em for her some time.
Spike: She’s too old. She won’t like it.
Jeff: Think positive, little dood. It catches on. Besides, she can’t be older than me, cuz I’m OLD! Are we recommending this fine new elpee from San Francisco’s Victory And Associates?
Blondie: HELLA YES.
Spike: Yer really not gonna buy us beer, huh?
Victory & Associates – These Things Are Facts (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
:rowdy but melodic indie rock from San Fran featuring the former singer of Replicator (blast from the past there…); this is a West Coast sound filtered through matter-of-fact, Midwestern mannerisms (dig that alliteration) not unlike The Hold Steady: (buy vinyl)
Some may remember me posting about Victory and Associates and their campaign to fund their debut record through the Kickstarter program. Thanks to the good people out there that threw a few bucks their way it was a success and come the beginning of August you’ll be able to get your hands on a copy of These Things are Facts. If any remember the Party Savior single that they released and I posted about awhile back, then you might be familiar with the sounds of the band, but if not…well then you’re in for a treat, that is if you’re looking for an album that is filled with nothing but non stop sing along rock.
While the band prides themselves in creating rock for ya know…the sake of rocking out…it’s always seemed to me that they also strive to put together songs that would work exceptionally well both on record and in a live setting. It’s hard to sit here and listen to These Things are Facts and not wish that you could be crammed into a small club or bar somewhere seeing these tunes being cranked out live. The songs simply on record, more often than not, achieve their goal of having me unconsciously turning the volume knob up gradually further and further. By the end of it I’m pretty much hitting obnoxiously loud levels that I am sure people near me aren’t necessarily happy about. But then again, maybe they are? Being as upbeat and surprisingly motivational as it is, I’d actually be disappointed if they weren’t. Victory and Associates however aren’t setting out to be rock stars by any means, despite combing through decades worth of riffs and rock staples to incorporate into their sound. Nah, this is more about getting up there, getting sweaty, getting people moving, and having a damn good time while doing so.
Those interested in picking up a copy of These Things are Facts can do so by checking out their Bandcamp page where they have it available for pre-order on LP or CD. Obviously digital downloads are set up to go as well. Enjoy!
The fine people at single piece slate have struck again, making vinyl records happen lovingly handcrafted in their shop, I imagine like a fine piece of New England furniture, or like a 7″ Amish collective, working only in the traditional ways of records, ignoring all technological advances…this time they’ve cut a split featuring Victory and Associates and Hurry up Shotgun who were nice enough to send 7Inches one of these clear, thick slabs of vinyl.
“Turn Down the Guitars” is the title of the rack from V&A and I know what you’re thinking, “But that goes against everything these guys stand for!”, and you’d be right, turns out this is a protest song against the sound guy at every venue telling them to turn down the most important element in their arsenal. Hilarious lyrically
he’s not horsing around / its a constant standoff / that’s the reason this song features the bass / no reverb is needed
but then they composed the track to take it one step further, punching in bursts of guitars over mostly bassline, finishing with some over the top Eddie Van Halen soloing.
What I can appreciate about these guys beyond the punchy power chords, and frontman Conan Neutron’s (name, perfect) attitude, is that they’re going for broke every time, like Hot Snakes, that massive post-punk energy – the all out party time rock, loud as hell…obviously that’s why they run into trouble with the man trying to bring them down! At the risk of alienating future venues they want you to know they want to rock god dammit! Any band would appreciate this, and should be covered on personal mix tapes and passed around back stage at Bannaroo.
The Hurry Up, Shotgun track “Paths” is dishing out an aural beating of funk-punk, a mix of complex repeated guitar melodies, that progressive bassline and interlockign percussion all off on it’s own…which right away takes me back to the days when I still respected Red Hot Chili Peppers and their combination of styles I hadn’t ever come across before. Borrowing across genre’s, taking their own idiosyncratic parts from everything. I guess you could even go further back with combination’s that Fishbone or Bad Brains pioneered. The energy is similar, and you can hear the decades of rock that came before it in the changes. They don’t ever let up with this completely bizarre core rhythm and frantic, almost metal vibrato vocals. It all comes down into a slow melodic power drone to take the track out on the metal side of things. These two have played together on local bills and this split single brings both of their comparably intense performance styles in friendly competition with each other.
Victory & Associates and Hurry Up Shotgun, Turn Down the Guitars/Paths. Lofty concepts undergird this deceptively simple split seven-inch by two of the Bay Area’s grittiest garage bands. Hurry Up Shotgun provides screamy, dueling-guitar rock in its song “Paths,” while Victory & Associates favors catchy riffs and asymmetrical rhythms. Victory singer Conan Neutron’s voice falls somewhere between a chant and a yowl. -Rachel Swan
Conan Neutron is interviewed by the brand spanking new bay area centric web music zine. Platon
In a way this is a concept band, Victory and Associates… it’s in the name, we’re loosely affiliated with success. A lot of the songs with this band are coming from a very sincere place and I think that throws some people off, they immediately are suspicious or think that it’s corny. What we’re trying to do is write stuff that uplifts, kind of a “get tough, get through it” kind of scenario. Some folks get it, some don’t. It can be frustrating that people are constantly looking for a catch or an angle. The angle is that we are trying to make powerful, uplifting rock music. We aren’t a freaking Christian band, we aren’t posi-core, but man… it’s damn rough out there, I don’t know if you’ve noticed? There are hundreds of thousands of bands that write and have written love songs, and there’s a proud history of bands pointing out problems, especially in punk rock. Ok, ok, I get it. And I’m not saying we haven’t or won’t do that, but right now it’s not the mission at all. A lot of bands are almost interchangeable, and that’s a shame. Bottom line: We’re not trying to bring the bummer, we’re trying to do something different, and it’s happening whether people like it or not.