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Articles Home » Music Talk » Getting Pissed Off With Debt Neglector By Nina McCarthy
Getting Pissed Off With Debt Neglector By Nina McCarthy

Getting Pissed Off With Debt Neglector

By Nina McCarthy

 

“Orlando's punk rock unit, Debt Neglector are proud to announce their forthcoming EP The Kids are Pissed due out October 26, 2018 via Smartpunk Records. The EP follows their tumultuous LP release, Atomicland, which showcased their ability to blend melody and aggression with songs that featured catchy hooks and depressing/cynical lyrics about the death of the American Dream. The Kids are Pissed EP, mixed, engineered, and mastered by Andy Karpovck at ABKA Studios is more dynamic than their previous effort, with bigger hooks and lyrics that are even more pissed off than before. If The Kids are Pissed had an overarching theme, it would be outrage. Outrage with the systems in place that discriminate against people without power and try to keep them powerless. Outrage against the abuses of our government and their sickening allegiance to lobbyists over their constituents. And outrage against the people trying to deny our country the right to healthcare, safety, and a quality education free from crushing debt.” --8/29/18 Press Release

 

 

 

BRR:  Our little studio was just relocated to Winter Haven, Florida, so I’m happy to feature a band from the Orlando area.  First of all, tell me about the scene down there?  Is punk rock big in your area?

Welcome to Florida! We have a bad reputation of having nothing but crazies down here and people who snort bath salts and eat other people's faces off, but Orlando actually has a very thriving and diverse punk scene. There's everything from bubble-grunge (Expert Timing) to angry garage punk (Golden Pelicans) to old school pop punk (Caffiends) to more melodic punk (Teen Agers) to garage pop (Wet Nurse) to old school punk/hardcore (Tight Genes). There's heavy stuff or quiet stuff and everything in between. Thanks to places like Will's Pub everyone plays together and does a pretty good job supporting each other and in my opinion at least things are really thriving and fun. I could list like a million bands I love from here but I think that would get tedious.

BRR:  Now let’s get a little history of the band for those unfamiliar with you.

We started in January of 2016, but it was kind of a slow start getting things really off the ground because it took us 6 months to find a drummer. Before then we were just demoing songs on Garageband and trying not to let our lack of live drums affect our ability to be productive. By the time Zach joined the band we had demoed like 10 songs already, he came in learned them all and we were playing our first show a couple months later. A couple months after that we booked some studio time and ended up recording our first record Atomicland, which Smartpunk were kind enough to release for us last year. Since then we've been playing around. We did a couple of tours and festivals in the US and Canada and just have been trying to cover whatever ground we can when we can.

BRR:  Your forthcoming EP, The Kids are Pissed, is due out October 26, 2018 via Smartpunk Records.  What advances or differences do you think the new EP has over your debut LP Atomicland?

I think the first record sort of establishes who you are as a band and I think Atomicland did that pretty ok. But what we wanted to do with the new EP was push the boundaries of what we are. We wanted the fast stuff to be faster, the melodic stuff to be catchier, the pissed stuff to be pissed-er and so on. Overall I just wanted to shoot for a different vibe for each song so that that it would be an interesting listen as a whole, instead of trying to write a "hit single" or whatever. I wanted an EP that felt complete when you sat aside the 15 minutes it takes to listen to it all together.

BRR:  Can you give me a deeper understanding of the title and the meaning behind The Kids are Pissed?

The song "The Kids are Pissed" is the last song on our new EP and it is a direct reaction to the situation here in Florida following the Parkland shooting. That was the second enormous mass shooting in our state in the past two years and it seemed like it was the final straw for a lot of people. I watched as young high school kids like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg stood up and bravely vocalized their disdain for American gun law and the NRA's stranglehold on certain members of our government. People attacked them, called them crisis actors, called in fake terrorism threats to their houses, and these kids stood in defiance of all of it and wouldn't be frightened away. It was heartbreaking to see them have to do it, but it was inspiring to witness their bravery at the same time. There's a lot of hopelessness in our songs because in reality I find the world to be a pretty grim place. Much of Atomicland was spent decrying the evils I see in the world. The song "The Kids are Pissed" was an attempt to bring something positive to our lyrical content, even if it was positivity born from tragedy. I feel like we've failed our youth in a lot of ways. The economy sucks for everyone that's not in the 1% and we can't even keep assault rifles out of our schools and give them access to a safe education. But maybe if we let these young, passionate, pissed off kids take the wheel there's hope for us after all. I think that ideology can be applied to a lot of the things we talk about on the record so it seemed fitting to name the whole EP after it.

BRR:  What other themes do you cover on the album and what makes these your choice topics to write about?

This EP is pretty heavily political. In "Wrong Side" we talk about the rise of the Alt-Right and how people need to stop giving a platform to genocidal nazi dickheads. In my opinion people like Richard Spencer should get punched in the face every moment of every day until they stop spewing hatred. In "New White Roses" we sing about the people who inspired us to start thinking politically in the first place. Whether it's bands I grew up on singing about equality, or more recently journalists like Shaun King exposing injustice and police brutality, that song is sort of a thank you. It's a thank you for getting my brain out of the white suburban middle class safety I grew up in and getting me to think about how other people live and how our government and society can be super oppressive. It's a shout out to people fighting the good fight. “R.P.F.O.” is a response to Trump's super racist travel ban and the overall theme of his platform which focuses on dividing people by skin color or nationality. He's out here calling certain places "shithole countries" and talking about how illegal immigrants are all rapists and murderers and gang members and "bad hombres" and how that racist rhetoric is unfounded. He's really tricked a lot of poor white people into thinking people of color are their enemy and the rise in hate crimes has been staggering.

BRR:  Probably one of your angrier songs, “Go Fund Yourself” has a great message.  As a former healthcare worker, I can’t applaud you enough for this topic.  Can you give us some more details behind the meaning behind this message?

Yeah this is a pretty pissed off one! I've gotten really tired of seeing people begging strangers to fund their kid's cancer treatment or pay their medical bills. Not that there should be shame in asking for help when you need it. That's not the idea. It's that it shouldn't have to happen at all. We're supposed to be the "greatest country in the world" or whatever nonsense they want you to believe, but we've got people doing crowdsourcing to pay for their fucking insulin or their epipens or whatever they need to stay alive. The healthcare system has become dystopian and when you look at the amount of money we spend on bombs, and then the amount we spend on healthcare it's fucking laughable. We're all dying, and we're paying out the ass to do it, and most of the people in power don't give a single fuck.

BRR:  The press release said that you show equal parts old school and new school.  Can you elaborate on this?

I always have loved old hardcore and punk from the 70's and 80's. That's what got me wanting to play music. I played in a band called New Mexican Disaster Squad and we were kind of a throwback hardcore band influenced by that stuff. I think a lot of that is still leaking into what happens when I write today. While we overall may be a more melodic modern sounding band we still have some fast songs and that black flag influence may creep in here or there on songs like "Go Fund Yourself" where there's an almost dissonant Greg Ginn quality to the pre chorus guitar lead. Some of the structure things I did with my old band creeps into songs like “R.P.F.O.” where there's a fast song that breaks down at the end into this anthemic part. It all sort of contributes to giving us a slightly more modern take on an older style. I'm influenced by that stuff from the 70's and 80s, but also by stuff that was around when I was actually old enough to start going to shows.

BRR:  Besides “getting people pissed” by your music and talking about these issues, what is next for Debt Neglector?

We're trying to tour as much as we can, which unfortunately is less than most of us would like to! We're talking about Europe for next year and hoping to do more shows around the states over the summer. I'm a teacher so we try to take advantage of the breaks in the school year to book as much cool shit as we can into those windows. Then we'll start writing again for the next release whatever it may be!

BRR:  Any additional comments?

Thanks for the interview and thanks for your time! I can clean up some of the language if you need me too haha

 

BRR: The language is fine. Thanks for answering my questions.  I'll keep an eye on your touring schedule.

 

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