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Wyoming’s Teenage Bottlerocket are set to embark on a quick four day tour of Western Canada before making their way down south for The Fest in Gainesville, Florida.
We caught up with bassist and yoga enthusiast Miguel Chen to discuss the tour, their new album Stay Rad and parenting techniques.
In late October you guys are doing a quick little Western Canadian tour with a couple west Coast dates thrown in. What can we expect from this Canadian tour?
I’d say, try to not have expectations, and just take the moment as it comes. Or something zen-sounding and wise like that.
Are you treating this as a bit of a warm up for The Fest?
Not really, this tour is its own thing!
Miguel is, of course, well known for his Punk Rock Yoga lessons – do all of you do yoga on tour or only Miguel?
Haha, definitely only me.
Stay Rad is your first record of original material with Darren on it after the tragic passing of Brandon in 2015. Was it difficult writing new songs without Brandon?
We really used that as fuel, just kept pushing ourselves and asking if Brandon would approve or not. I don’t know if difficult is the right word, but we all definitely stepped up.
What did Darren bring to the writing process?
Chewka go bang bang bang on the drum real good.
As an Edmontonian myself, it’s great to see Darren from The Old Wives rocking it on a bigger stage. Was he the one who dropped the Edmonton reference in “Everything to Me”?
That was actually a Ray lyric, based on a true story about how we bring his son Milo on tour sometimes.
The song is a, for lack of better term, love song for your kids. The line “I’ll show you Minor Threat, Talking Heads, and Methadones” really jumped out at me and got me thinking, what bands did your parents show you growing up and how did that influence your musical tastes or style?
I don’t think my dad listens to music. My mom liked classical music and the Carpenters. The first dance at my wedding was “Close to You” as a nod to her, I wish she could’ve been there.
Now that punk has been around for so long, you often get fans bringing around their own kids to shows. What impact do you think it has on the scene when kids are introduced to punk at such a young age?
I think it could go either way, either they’ll grow up loving it, or they’ll become teenagers who hate what their parents like and get super into country music or something like that.
Considering punk was always supposed to be a rebellious reaction to the status quo, is it odd now that parents are the ones encouraging their youngsters to listen to it?
Nah, we just want the best for our kids, and we’re doing our best with what we know.
Are there any songs – “The First Time That I Did Acid Was The Last Time That I Did Acid” for example – that you’ve written and wouldn’t want your kids to hear?
I don’t think hiding that you’ve ever done drugs is a good way to teach your kids about honesty or about drugs, so no not really.
What’s the best advice you can give someone for them to always Stay Rad?
Just like the beginning of this interview, I’d say let go of expectations and take life as it comes!