The B-Leaguers and Hooligan Crooners met up…over a pint or two … and decided to do a split mini album. It’s called Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip (release end of March 2017).
Sweet Sweet Music talked to Barry Phillips (Hooligan Crooners) and Jim Styring (B-Leaguers).
What can we expect?
Jim: ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ Good, honest punk rock and roll!
Barry: ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ pretty much builds on our first two EPs “Hell Yeah! It’s Hooligan Crooners” and “From Paradise To Halfway”. People said we’d found “our sound” with the second (From Paradise…) and I think this is more in the same vein…hopefully as good or better!
A split mini album, how did this came together?
Jim: We’re good friends with the guys from Hooligan Crooners and both bands share similar influences and sound. We knocked a few ideas around, but knew from early on that we’d like to do something together. A split mini LP was suggested, and we all agreed it was a great idea. ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ is the result, and we’re all very excited for people to hear it!
Barry: It started as a social-media love-story…Internet dating! We run PWVA Records and were looking for other bands we could release on the label. The initial idea was that we would sign bands from mainland Europe but I heard Rock’n’Roller Tunes (via Facebook and YouTube) and was blown away. The guys from B-Leaguers sent me the first LP, we met up…over a pint or two and it was a done deal. We share the same philosophies and values.
Did you try to create a whole or do these songs just easily connect, without trying too much?
Jim: We wrote the songs separately, but there’s a natural connection there, as we listen to, and are influenced by, the same kind of bands. Big singalong choruses, with the punk rock DIY ethic.
Barry: It’s all organic and nobody is trying to force an issue or create a “concept” album. It just seems that the bands have similar influences and approaches both to song-writing and recording. Actually, it’s difficult to say how much is due to “influences”. Hooligan Crooners rarely “deliberately” write something in the vein of [x]. We just write things on an acoustic guitar and then we play them in the way we enjoy playing and would like to hear. That said, there are some very obvious nods in the direction of quite a few bands…that usually manifests itself in arrangements, particularly in the recording studio. And we have absolutely NO problem when a reviewer says “sounds like The Boys, Generation X, The Clash, Social Distortion etc etc”. That’s a huge compliment.
How will you promote the album?
Jim: We play a couple of shows with Hooligan Crooners in March/April, while the guys are over here in the UK. The official launch of ‘Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip’ will be at the Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield, on Friday 31st March. The following night, Saturday 1st April, we both play the Punk & Disorderly Festival, Salisbury. And there’ll be a new song and video out from both bands very soon.
Barry: A short tour (4 dates) of the UK at the end of March and beginning of April. A couple of those dates are with B-Leaguers (The Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield for the official album launch on March 31st and Salisbury Punk & Disorderly Festival on April 1st) and we are really looking forward to those. Then we have some dates in France in early April. In September and October we will be playing in France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and perhaps even returning to the UK. We’ve been lucky and had quite a lot of radio play with the first two EPs so we’re hopeful that both bands will get our fair share with “Tales From A Punk Rock Road Trip”.