Music News Headline Answers With American Standards' Brandon Kellum January/February 2020 • 4th Edition #76
Metal Pulp And Paper: Hello Brandon. How are you, and are you ready for the next decade?
Brandon Kellum: The year is 2020. There are no flying cars. No jet packs. No teleportation. We do however have awkward drives with strangers in which we pay surge pricing and hope that the driver doesn’t want to talk politics... I’m good. MPAP: Well, thank you for taking the time to be a part of Metal Pulp And Paper’s Music News Headline Questions. We appreciate it. Before we get started though, tell us a little about your band and what we might need to know. And, of course, if you’ve got new music, or new music coming out soon, please tell us about it so we can pummel our eardrums!
Brandon:American Standards is a high concept plumbing influenced band from Phoenix, Arizona. New music has slowed to a trickle over the last 10 years, but we did release a couple singles in 2019 and hope to have something new this decade. MPAP: So, just in case you or the reader are new to this, this is how it all works, it won’t sting a bit. We here at the Metal Pulp And Paper headquarters pulled some recent music news headlines from the Metal Injection website and turned them into questions. Pretty simple, just like putting on your pants one leg at a time. So, once again, please place seat backs and tray tables in the upright position, hang on, here we go. Putting on your seat belt is totally up to you… 1. Hardcore Show In A Denny's Restaurant Results In Hundreds of Dollars In Damages
MPAP: So, this 17-year-old kid, Bryson Del Valle, booked his first DIY show at a Denny’s restaurant for the punk band Wacko. Obviously, Denny’s is not the ideal spot to play a hardcore music show, or is it? Still, somehow Bryson pulled it off at the Santa Anna restaurant other than the damages done to the establishment. First off, I guess the show sold out, so maybe Bryson is onto something here. Can’t imagine why Denny’s agreed to it, what were they thinking? So, I guess the question is, where would you like your band to perform that is not the ordinary place to play, and maybe get a bit wild and wreak havoc on some table and chairs? And since the story has gone viral, Green Day donated $2,000 to help pay for the damages.
Brandon: We’ve played some interesting places over the years from roller skating rinks to Chinese food restaurants. I think our pie in the sky would be reenacting The Beatles last show but instead of Apple Corps headquarters, we’d play on the rooftop of a local Taco Bell. 2. Meth Recounts Hilariously Crazy Story Of Missing Their Gathering Of The Juggalos Set
MPAP: Every year Insane Clown Posse puts on a music festival called Gathering Of The Juggalos, and let’s just say it’s not a music fest you’d want to take your parents to or go there on your first date. Shit, what do I know, maybe you would want to take them there? Either way, you’re going to see some fucked up shit happening there. Anyways, one of the members of Meth told a crazy story about trying to get there to play but was unable to find the right stage they were to play on that day. Now, what about you, any crazy band stories about missing a show, or about almost missing a show that is memorable?
Brandon: We’re pretty respectful, timely dudes. Outside of the occasional shows that get cancelled without telling us, in which case we end up doing parking lot concerts. There’s only one missed show in almost 10 years that comes to mind. I wake up early on a Friday that we’re supposed to kick off a tour. Being from Phoenix, snow is the last thing you think of, but lo and behold, a text from our drummer saying that all roads leading to Albuquerque are closed down due to ice and storms. Skipping this 7-hour drive meant either cancelling the whole tour or hoping that the following day would be better. If the snow did clear up, that would mean driving 14 plus hours to the next state. I’m debating on posting that we have to cancel the show when in a pinch I ask on my personal page if anyone knows of any backroads that may get us there. Shortly after, we’re on a 12-hour adventure through some seriously fucked up roads attempting to make check in. There’s another curve ball though- our guitarist Corey isn’t with us. He’s out of state catching a plane to meet us there. At the buzzer, we pull up to the venue alive and intact. We’re unloading when I get another text, but this time it’s from Corey. His plane is circling the airport, unable to land because of the weather. An hour later, he’s re-routed and we’re left at the venue with no guitarist after having just drove all day. We spend the rest of the night handing out t-shirts, having beers with the crowd and promising to come back for a free make up show. We did however play the rest of the dates on the tour braving our way through an asshole of a storm that was seeming to follow us along the way. 3.Destruction Vocalist on Metallica: "Once You're A Billionaire, What Should You Be Pissed Off About?"
MPAP: I don’t think Lars or James are billionaires just yet, but maybe in another year or two, who knows? Schmier, Destruction’s vocalist, said in an interview that Metallica's lack of heaviness and anger over the years has to do with the fact that Metallica got rich. Do you think that’s a fair assumption that if you’re no longer pissed off about anything in the world, or whatever it will reflect in your music?
Brandon: I think there’s always something to be pissed off about. You just need to turn on any form of media for a few minutes to find it. I do think passion always create the best art, be it anger or otherwise. 4. Airline Forces Woman Wearing "Hail Satan" Shirt To Either Change or Get Off The Plane
MPAP: Satanism is officially recognized as a religion in the United States now. Still, it was far too much for one American Airlines crew to handle, who forced a passenger to change her shirt if she wanted to remain on board the plane. She was escorted up to the front of the aircraft and told to remover her shirt or get kicked off the plane. She eventually covered up the 'so-called offensive' shirt with one of her husbands. What are your thoughts on this? If her shirt had said 'Hail Jesus', no one would probably have even have batted an eye. So, should you be allowed to wear anything you want out in public? What if your favorite shirt could be offensive to one person, but not to others, what do you do? Ever had someone report you to someone or just glare at you for what you were wearing at an airport, or anywhere in public before?
Brandon: First off, shoutout to my buddy Stu De Haan who’s doing the Lord’s work, or Satan’s, in this space alongside The Satanic Temple. I don’t think it’s an airlines place to impose moral beliefs on anyone. The ultimate would be if she covered this shirt with a similar but equally as 'offensive' shirt. I personally haven’t been reported since maybe junior high when they’d make you wear a DARE shirt just for coming to school with a Degeneration X Shirt that says 'Suck It'. I do commonly get some interesting looks though when I wear certain band shirts to my niece’s dance recitals. 5. Lars Ulrich Can See Metallica Going For Another 20 Years
MPAP: Metallica formed as a band in 1981, so, in the year 2020, that would put them at touring the World for 38 years. So, add another 20 more years, that would then put them at touring just under six decades. Is that even fathomable to think about? But check this out, Dame Vera is the UK's best-selling female artist. She began performing publicly at the age of seven and is still performing to this day. Her first radio broadcast was with the Joe Loss Orchestra in 1935. That’s 85 years so far. So, try and beat that Metallica! Now how far ahead do you see yourself going? Do you still want to be performing five, ten, or even 20 years from now?
Brandon: Oof. I think in my teens when I first started touring, I couldn’t even imagine being 30, let alone screaming at a crowd in my 30s. Now on the other side of that, it’s hard to imagine not still playing music. In my 50s though? Not sure that people want to see geriatric hardcore, yelling about my retirement plan. 6. New Study Says Listening To 78 Minutes Of Music Daily Is Important To Your Health
MPAP: Well, first off, are you listening to the recommended amount? And then, what do you do at home vs. out on the road to stay healthy or keep in shape? Do you worry about your health while out on the road? After a while, the same truck stop corn dog and burrito has to get old eating all the time, right? What are some of the main obstacles you have to deal with?
Brandon: Maybe not always 78 minutes of pure music, but I definitely get that time in for podcasts. In terms of health, there was a point in the band when I’d get tagged in pictures and I’d notice a little gut showing. My solution was sizing up and wearing under shirts. At the time, my gym membership card was just a fancy keychain. In 2018 I leaned pretty hard into diet and exercise in attempt to lose 10 lbs. Who would of known that switching from beer to whiskey would of turned that 10 lbs into 30? 7. Jason Newsted Told By Doctors To Stop Headbanging
MPAP: Recently Newsted, formerly of Flotsam & Jetsam and Metallica, said that 25 years of headbanging has finally caught up with him, and it’s time to, as doctors have told him over the years, it’s time to 'stop spinning the head.' Luckily, he doesn’t have to get surgery yet, but Slayer’s bassist Tom Araya was not as fortunate and had to have anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery done in 2010. So, what’s something if the doctor told you to do stop doing, you would stop doing. And then on the other side of the coin, what’s something if he told you to stop doing, you wouldn’t do because you like it so much?
Brandon: I actually had a little health scare with my throat a while back. It was sore and swollen for several weeks. Had a scope shoved down there to check for nodules, or worse, just hours before playing a show. Doctor recommended I lay low and keep talking to a minimal for a while. Little did he know, I’d be screaming in a metal band that night. 8. KNOTFEST Mexico Canceled After Fans Rush The Stage, Breaking Barricades. MPAP: A security safety issue prevented fans from seeing the rest of Knotfest after the stage barricade broke during Behemoth's set, and it was impossible to fix it in time for the final two acts of the night, Evanescence and Slipknot, so, in the end, the rest of the show was canceled, and this did not sit well many. In pictures and video footage that surfaced, it shows many fans getting onto the stage and destroying some of Evanescence’s equipment, and set fire to Will Hunts drum set. Obviously, you don’t want this kind of shit to happen. The fans took it too far, music was more important than the safety of others. What’re your thoughts on this?
Brandon: I think that’s just mob mentality. People that never would of escalated a situation like that got caught up in the moment and did some stupid shit that they should be held accountable for. It’s not like they thought breaking instruments and setting fires was going to change anyone’s minds about letting the show go on. 9. Alice Cooper Says Lemmy's Idea Of Not Drinking Was "Maybe Just Five Or Six Drinks"
MPAP: Alice explained that one time that Lemmy from Motorhead told him he had quit drinking. Lemmy’s idea of not drinking was not drinking a bottle of whiskey each night. Maybe just five or six drinks. Are the days of excessive drinking and partying over with? What is life out on the road for you? Are you quiet when you’re not on tour, but look out, when the tour begins you can’t wait to hang out with the other bands and have a few drinks?
Brandon: Depends on the night and the vibe. More often than not, we have our time before the show and can’t wait to get off stage to keep it going. By the time we sweat it out at the show, there’s nothing that I want more than a shower and to relax. I guess this is growing up. 10.Kiss Played A Show For Great White Sharks But No Sharks Actually Showed Up
MPAP: I think this is the first music headline that I can’t think of anything to come up with for a question, but it just seemed so good not to talk about it. Let’s see what I can come up with in the end; either way, let’s continue. So, anyways, some Air-B-N-B company paid Kiss probably a butt load of money to perform live on a boat, like they needed it anyway, but it was for a good cause, and some fans got once in a lifetime performance. Hmmm, now that I’m thinking about it, is this Bryson’s second booking to have a band perform in a not so-usual-place? Knowing this outcome, I think he needs to stick with restaurants and book his next show at a Red Lobster. Don’t worry; it wasn’t him that booked it. But anyways, to get to the moral of the story, if anyone cares, Kiss set up and actually performed live on a boat off the coast of Port Lincoln in support of the Australian Marine Conservation Society in front of like eight special die-hard fans. The whole idea of the debacle was that Kiss would play some songs, and then sharks swimming in the area would show up because they 'love the low-frequency sounds of rock and roll.' Bassist Gene Simmons was very impressed with the whole ordeal and even said, "Guys, this is probably the most interesting gig I’ve ever done. I’d want my own autograph after this." Bam! I’ve got it! Let’s go with this, (fireworks and sirens wailing), let’s have the first-ever Metal Pulp And Paper Headline Questions three-part question. This is exciting. Mary, drum roll please…
What has been your most interesting gig so far? Is there a person out there walking this earth that you’d like to get an autograph from? And then, Give a shout out to a local band from your home town out there that you think the sharks would have shown up to listen to instead of Kiss.
Just go with it; we’re almost done with all the questions, lol.
Brandon: Most interesting would have to be playing Top Knot Fest in Seattle. The stage was in the middle of a roller-skating rink and drinks that night were flowing. As we performed, people basically played Mario Kart while skating around us and trying to pop each other’s balloons. I’m not huge on autographs, but I’d love to meet Tom Waits, or Rod Serling before he passed. There are so many solid bands coming out of AZ. Bear Ghost, Gatecreeper, Holy Fawn, Playboy Manbaby, Dead History, and NRWHL to name a handful. 11.Five Finger Death Punch Guitarist Talks Backstage Perks: Their Own Dressing Rooms, Masseuses & Personal Assistants
MPAP: Must be nice, I guess, right? I don’t know how true this one is, but alongside Haribo gummy bears in his dressing room, Marilyn Manson reportedly has asked for a 'bald-headed, toothless hooker' in his rider at one point in his music career. What have been some of your backstage perks that you’ve gotten or asked for before? Can you top Manson’s?
Brandon: I don’t think we’re topping anyone with our occasional free pizza and beer. I will say that there are a handful of venues that always treat us better than we deserve like The Rebel Lounge (AZ), Metro Music Hall (UT) and Seventh Circle Music Collective (CO). 12. Pete Townshend Says The Who "Sort Of Invented Heavy Metal" In 1970
MPAP: Ya right! And this is coming from a guy that recently said in an interview he’s glad drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle are dead and gone and no longer in The Who. What a dick. Anyways, who do you think invented Heavy Metal music in your eyes. Some say Black Sabbath’s self-titled album in 1970 was the birth of Heavy Metal music. Others argue that Blue Cheer's 1968 record Vincebus Eruptum is the first heavy metal album, while others say Coven's 1969 album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls is where it all started. Maybe you have a total different take on it?
Brandon: The chugga chugga sounds in heavy music was first heard in 1804 with the invention of the steam powered locomotive. Everything since is derivative and clichéd. 13.Metallica's 1991 Self-Titled Album Breaks New Billboard Record
MPAP: Yes, I know, I know. Not another Metallica question. What can I say they make a lot of news headlines. So, the Black album is approaching 17 million sales in the United States while cresting over 31 million worldwide and has sold so well that it's now become one of the only four albums in history, of any genre, to be on the Billboard 220 for 550 non-consecutive weeks. That’s over ten years? At one point I think I heard it sells like 5,000 copies a week. I wonder how many warehouses Lars has rented over the years to store them all? Anyways, blah, blah blah, either way, it’s quite the accomplishment, but more importantly, what about your band? What is something that you’re proud of that has happened, and why?
Brandon: We started off just playing houses and storage sheds with our friends. Since then, we’ve been able to play with so many bands that we grew up listening to in cities across the country that we didn’t even know existed. It’s been absolutely humbling to think that anyone spend any of their time, money or energy on us when we’re just doing what we love. MPAP: Well, that wraps up another edition of Metal Pulp And Paper’s Headline Questions, and those were some great answers. Now Mary, tell them what they’ve won. Mary? Hey Mary! Shit, we can’t find Mary, haha! So, on behalf of Metal Pulp And Paper, we’d like to thank you, Brandon, for taking the time to answer these recent music news headline questions. We look forward to what you or your band, American Standards, does in 2020 and beyond. Any last words for all your fans and all the Metal Pulp And Paper readers out there?
Brandon: Go out there and do something that scares the hell out of you. Life is too short to play it safe.