Good Morning Chicken (or: talking about a very narrow demographic of punk rock-vol.2)

Good morning and I hope you all had a happy jewish independence day! Mine was great. I spent it reorganizing my storage space. Not quite the blowjob contest I was hoping for, but still pretty excellent.
I read an interview with my friend Chicken recently. He plays in Dead to Me. They’re a great band. The song Arrhythmic Palpitations is truly one of my faves. The big anthem in that song is so devastatingly awesome. Now, intentionality means nothing one hundred percent of the time when you’re talking about creative endeavors, so what Chicken meant when he wrote the line “don’t let all the reasons why you’re here become the same reasons why you don’t stay” is irrelevant, but I read it as about the most heartbreakingly beautiful entreaty to someone to curb their enthusiasm for their addictions, whatever those may be. It’s awesome. This is not the purpose of this entry, to talk about people I know and enjoy the company of and the various songs they’ve written. Just saying, just throwing it out there before I get to the point. Just pointing out that I love and respect Chicken from DTM quite a bit.

Because see, I read this interview yesterday, and man, Chicken sounded like a real dildo.
In this interview, conducted by, Chicken asserts that bands that rip off/look up to/sound like Bruce Springsteen are “ruining’ bruce springsteen for him. He asserts that it’s a ton of bands doing it, and that he doesn’t have any problem with anyone, he’s just into talking shit, so he’s gonna say what he feels. Hmmmm….
Okay, let’s get all this out of the way right up front: I LOVE talking shit. Love it. Hell, I’m doing it right now. AND I don’t give two fucks about Bruce Springsteen or the bands that sound like him. I’m not springing to the defense of my favorite troubador/band here. AND, just to be PERFECTLY clear, I’d probably rather listen to Dead To Me than Bruce Springsteen about 99% of the time, BUT really dude? Someone’s ruining Bruce for you? Really? Like, the same way that all those bands on Fat ruined NOFX? Like the same way Rancid ruined the Clash? Like the same way Dead To Me ruined the second generation fat sound? What a crock of horseshit. There’s nothing about, say, the Gaslight Anthem (who IS the band you’re referring to, and all the shucking and jiving in the world isn’t going to make anyone think otherwise) that should have any fucking impact on your opinion and/or appreciation for Thunder Road. AND, I know you know that AND I know that they don’t. What happened here is a classic case of a shit talker biting off a chunk too big to swallow and then suddenly making up bullshit backpedaling excuses for why he said what he said, trying to defuse and diffuse the situation by pretending he was talking about a wide swath of people rather than just one specific band and generally trying to sweep it under the rug while still maintaining an “I just love to talk shit” kinda attitude. Well, no. No, no, no, no. You don’t get to do that. Hate on motherfuckers all you want, but don’t soften the blow when you get called on your shit. Apologize like a man or stand your ground. “They’re ruining Bruce for me.” fuck off. That’s piss poor, man. I expect better of you.
There’s no shame in acknowledging your influences. In fact, more bands should. There’s this unspoken rule that you can’t mention out loud any band that you’re influenced by if they’re anywhere near being your contemporaries. Bands never want to say that they are influenced by the bands that they sound just like. When a new ‘melodic hardcore’ band comes out, they’ll never say “oh, it was the first major label Rise Against record that really helped define our sound.” They’ll instead point to some bullshit in order to make it seem like they’re doing something more creative than what they’re actually doing. “oh, we listen to lots of Sammy Davis and lots of Judas Priest and so we combined those sort of melodic elements with the sort of aggressive drum machine blast of late era ministry but we used a real drummer.” No you didn’t. You heard “Give it All” when you were in the mall shopping for a new belt. And that’s fine. Hell, that’s AWESOME. More people SHOULD admit their influences. There’s no shame in it, and despite what some would have you believe, there’s no way that aping a sound has any effect on that original sound’s relevance. Period. I mean, fuck. I figured out how I wanted my voice to sound by listening to the bassist of the Goo Goo Dolls sing and trying to imitate it. Did I ruin “Hold Me Up” for anyone by doing it? I was straight up imitating him. No. I didn’t. Know why? Because my output has nothing to do with the output of someone else.
SO, in conclusion, Chicken, stop picking on bands that aren’t as cool as you and for gods sake, talk shit with a little more dignity. See, we, Chicken and I, are cut from the same cloth and I think of him as a good friend even though we never get to talk/see each other these days. He’s a shit talker, so am I. We play similar styles of music, we play bass, we’re one of 2 singers in our bands that are on Fat Wreck Chords. Let’s face the facts, we’re soulmates. So, that means this lazy shit talking of his is in danger of sullying MY shit talking, and I can’t have that. Besides, is Gaslight Anthem really the fucking fight to pick? They’re cool, man. There’s fucking idiots out there screaming about jesus over 6/7 mosh breakdowns for fucks sake. Let’s shit on those fuckers, man. Oh, yeah, I know…Coco from Gaslight loves his Jesus too. Whatever, not the same thing, man. You know who I’m talking about. Those guys with the liprings and the hairspray. Chicken, you, me versus those guys. How bout that? Huh? Huh?
Okay, this should cause me enough trouble today. Oh, and take notes. This is how you get up in someone’s face via blog.

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42 Responses to Good Morning Chicken (or: talking about a very narrow demographic of punk rock-vol.2)

  1. Kevin Burnett says:

    Ooooh Snap, Bitch!

    For me, Gaslight Anthem, Hold Steady, Loved Ones, maybe even Mike Ness' solo stuff…at some point they all kind of re-energized my appreciation for the boss. Just sayin'.

  2. Jesus says:

    No man, you know what's the fucking WORST?!

    There's this guy see, he's got this band called Sunduppers, or Sundang or some stupid shit, and he's all over the place trying to sound like Justin Timberlake, see?

    That's what grinds my asscheeks together man, that's it man. Like FUCK man.

    Just playing. Miss you Chrissy!

  3. admp says:

    This post is making me feel a little bit vulnerable, so here goes:

    I like to tell people that Fossil Arm is influenced by Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie and then all the anger in it is manifested purely by my own will. The truth is, I never would have written music if I didn't get into Bright Eyes in high school, and I never would have made it angry if I didn't listen to Against Me!'s RIAR about 10 million times in the last few years. So there's an honest moment.

    And as one shit talker to another, I can't believe your vocals are based on Goo Goo Dolls. You are now dead to me. Pun for the win.

  4. Stizzy says:

    on another note has everyone listened to Dan's new stuff on the myspaces yet?

    it's pretty good you should probably listen.

  5. dustyfloors says:

    Amazing shit talking. Notes were taken.

  6. Seagull Steve says:

    Ha, way to call him out. I read that same interview and thought the same thing. It doesnt seem like a group of people worth whining about…..and seriously, what other bands was he talking about?

    But now we know buttsweat and tears is going a true blue Bruce ripoff all the way.

  7. OPKOPete says:

    Anyone know why his name is Chicken?

  8. KypPineapple says:

    I read that interview a few days ago and also instantly thought, "dude, why pick on Gaslight?" I mean, I'm a fan of their sound and while I'm not as emotionally attached to their music as I am, say, the Larry Arms (let's face it, no one can touch the poetry that are your lyrics), I still get a lot of fun out of em.
    When they came through Pittsburgh early this September, I had a good time, although what I really enjoyed was the Loved Ones. I hadn't seen them since 2004 when all they had was a little 5 song demo/ep and had completely forgotten how much fun they are live. Good dudes.

  9. Candice's Breasts says:

    Why don't you get your face up in this shit…

  10. Scott says:

    I agree 100%. Gaslight is one of my favorite bands right now. They are not trying to make some kind of stupid hip hop punk mashup trying to get 14 year olds to dance. Last time i saw them live there were people of all ages hanging around and having a blast. I swear there was a much older couple even dancing with each other. It is just good fun music. While larry arms and gaslight don't sound much alike, you are all about the same thing. Just some dudes who like to play music and have fun with it. No pretense, no image, this is me, this is the music I LIKE, if you don't like what i play, go straighten your hair and listen to someone else.

    I think my ultimate show would be, larry arms, gaslight, against me

  11. Robb says:

    Pete, it's supposedly based on a nickname given to him by other kids at soccer camp back when he was a chubby kid. That nickname was supposedly 'Tyson Chicken Chunks'. Refer to this interview:

  12. Kevin Burnett says:

    Hey Stizz can you link, I can't seem to find it on MySpace.

  13. Moore Sketches! says:

    i had a girlfriend once that told me you sounded like the guy from the goo goo dolls… i kinda laughed it off. she got upset… then played some for me, and i thought ''shit that'd be crazy if he's all into this dudes voice…''

    and now you come out and say you were imitating his voice to get to where you wanted to sound, and that just blew my mind…

  14. Drew says:

    Man… I tell everyone, when they ask what I sound like, "a kid who listened to a bit too much Chris McCaughan and Mike Kinsella, tried way too hard to sound like said dudes, and miserably fucks it all up… but well!"

    Cheers to today's entry, too many holier-than-thou motherfuckers out there!

  15. OPKOPete says:

    Thanks Robb. Sometimes I forget there is life outside BSC and the org.

  16. Jay says:

    Seriously dude, best post yet. I laughed my ass off the whole time.

    And for the record I hate the boss and love Gaslight

    Anyway, posts have been great lately (except for that cheap one yesterday), keep it up.

  17. Mikey says:

    Well you entertained me.

    I noticed Dead To Me's Gaslight bashing on of their blog posts on their myspace. Which was disappointing 'cause I had just finished listening to their new song which is WICKED.

    Oh and now I don't have to feel guilty about if I write a song and feel like a part of it sounds a bit too much like a part of one of your songs. So that's wicked too.

  18. Banana@1000MPH says:

    Robb, I know Fat Mike is often full of shit (and by that, all of Fat is pretty full of shit), but I thought I read on Fat's site that his uncle nicknamed him Chicken because his real name is Tyson. Maybe it was both.

  19. Daniel says:

    I'm astonished that Beex would admit to being that influenced by the Goo Goo Dolls. But I guess they were pretty harsh back in the day.

  20. Drew says:

    …"Jed" is such a solid album!

  21. Scott Juniper. says:

    Jed and Hold Me Up are both pretty rad albums.

  22. Robb says:

    Regretfully Yours and Head Trip In Every Key are both pretty rad albums. Just saying.

  23. Mark says:

    "Give It All" was the song that got me into punk rock. I'm not a big Rise Against fan anymore, although I still enjoy them from time to time, but I can't thank them enough for writing that song.

  24. kylewagoner says:

    I read that interview a few days ago and none of his bandmates really had his back when he said that. Nate, I think, was like "I love me some Bruce. Not gonna lie. Whatshisface from Strike Anywhere got me into them." I AM stoked about their new record, though. Even though Jack isn't on it….


  25. bk says:

    Maybe Chicken should have stuck with Western Addiction if he feels Dead to Me is somehow threatened by Gaslight.

    What I'm saying is I miss Western Addiction.

  26. Peter says:

    Longtime reader, first time commenter
    (sorry couldn't help it)

    This whole thing is a bummer because these are both really solid bands. Just saw Gaslight and it was definitely my top show of 09 so far, even though I mainly went to see the loved ones.

    I agree with BK that people in good bands would be far more constructive if they spent time shitting on Underoath instead of other good bands. In fact, we should all take some time out to shit on Underoath. agreed?

    Really when you think about it, DTM should be touring with Gaslight instead of hating on them…. oh wait, they did in 2007. ouch.

  27. Kevin Burnett says:

    I really wish people on PNO and other such boards would stop ripping into American Steel. Every jackass with an opinion seems to think they suck since they reunited and I just don't hear it.

    I think their last two albums have been fan-fucking-tastic. I've seem them twice since they got back as well and they were great live too.

    It's the age old bullshit argument that either A.) "Every album sounds the same because these dickheads don't know how to grow up and are shitty musicians" or B.) "These fuckers haven't been good since their first album that was recorded in a sweaty TGIFridays basement after work."

    Fuck off.

  28. Nina says:

    I back Chicken 100%. If you listen to the audio I think its actually Nathan who says he listens to Bruce and this is ruining it for him. That aside, no one would care about what they said if it didn't have some truth in it. Just sayin

  29. Tori Pederson says:

    Yeah, it was definitely Nathan who said Sprigsteen was being ruined for him. Chicen said he never liked Springsteen in the first place. Gaslight and Dead To Me both rule either way.

  30. Tori Pederson says:

    So many typos…

  31. Gabriel says:

    Can we get a west coast tour featuring the lawrence arms and dead to me? That'd be the best.

  32. Owner Operator says:

    hey brandong,

    will you film the 10th ani show for all us kids that are not going. just simple stuff, nothing fancy. and then sell it on dvd or upload it to the net etc… that would be awesome for me. and i gues for other people as well.

  33. Rich says:

    Thanks for referencing the interview do I get blog royalties now?

  34. Drunken Acorn says:

    Hey everyone, Need your help. My 16 year old cousin went to his first concert last week, too bad it was fall out boy. but he says he likes punk and I had to tell him fall out boy wasn't real punk and that I'd make him a mix cd. So here's the list. Should I make any changes?

    One Man Army- All the way
    Smoke or Fire- Loving,Self-loathing
    NUFAN- Chasing Rainbows
    Bouncing Souls- Kate is great
    Gaslight Anthem- High Lonesome
    Alkiline Trio- Old school reasons
    The Menzingers- Lilith Avi
    NMB- Banned from teen arts
    Larry Arms- Right as rain part 2
    Ataris- Broken promise ring
    Against Me- Mutiny on elec. bay
    DTM- Special Profesional
    Echo of Harpers Ferry- Haditha (if you never heard of them look them up. Great band.)
    OP Ivy- Freeze up
    Teenage Bottlerocket- Skate or die
    Kid dynamite- Bookworm
    AM Steel- Tear the place apart
    Jawbreaker- first step
    Loved Ones- Suture self
    PBC- Election day
    Lagwagon- Change Despair
    D4- Gainesville
    Cobra Skulls- Streets of Cario
    Larry Arms- Alert the Audience
    Propagandhi- Bannger's embrace

    Let me know if thats a good representation of these bands. I just kinda put songs I like on there. But he might like something else you know. appreciate the help, Thanks everyone.

  35. Robb says:

    Not to be a dick, but I don't quite follow Nina. In what aspect of Chicken/Nathan's words are you claiming the "truth" to be? The notion that the recent influx of Boss-influenced bands does/could affecting the credibility/one's enjoyment of Bruce's work is true? Subjective, though I definitely share BK's viewpoint there (retarded). Or the notion that people (bands in question included) have been "upset" by N/C's words due to guilt because they are indeed "ripping off" (vs. merely influenced by) Springsteen? (Again, an arbitrary and subjective distinction). I dunno, I just fail to see any "inherent truth" there.

  36. L says:

    drunken acorn…you need more jawbreaker. try chesterfield king, it's my favorite jawbreaker song.

  37. Nina says:

    Robb –

    I meant it was true when he said they're a seriously generic punk bad ripping off Bruce.

    Also, you type like a pussy.

  38. FranklinStein says:

    I remember playing "porno and snuff films" at my friend's apartment about 2 years ago and his girlfriend said, "he sounds like robbie from the goo goo dolls". she then showed me the song "laughing" and i agreed. i never thought i'd hear you admit to making a conscious decision to sound like him.

  39. Robb says:

    Well we all have our quirks. You apply deductive reasoning like an elderly woman with snacks in her purse and forty cats.

  40. spir00s says:

    Robb for the win.

  41. ilovegoats69 says:

    How about Ben Weasel saying that The Lawrence Arms are the worst band in the world and that your lyrics read like poetry from a high school yearbook?

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