Waste Man: 'Rock & roll is not a joke, but it is very funny'

EN :  Waste Man is a band from New Orleans (Louisiana) that recently dropped a huge missile on the independent scene. With One Day It'll...


ENWaste Man is a band from New Orleans (Louisiana) that recently dropped a huge missile on the independent scene. With One Day It'll All Be You, Waste Man confirmed its status as heroes of gore, fun, brutal, salacious, and sometimes post-skate rock'n'roll. This LP is a real feat, so... I had to talk to the band capable of creating such a miracle. Here is our conversation.

FR: Waste Man, c'est un groupe originaire de la Nouvelle-Orléans (en Louisiane) qui, en avril dernier, a fait exploser un énorme missile sur la scène indépendante. Le groupe confirme son statut de héros du rock'n'roll gore, et fun, et brutal, et salace, et parfois post-skate. One Day It'll All Be You est un exploit, il fallait donc que je parle à ce groupe capable de créer un tel miracle. Voilà notre conversation.

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Let us start with a playlist curated by
Waste Man for Still in Rock


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Introduction

How are you? What’s up with you these days? 

Hey Thibault, good to hear from you. We're doing good. Working, waiting for shows to come back. 

Same here. Now, let us go back in time. What was the idea behind the creation of the band? 

We were all friends and we all wanted to be in a band together, so that's what we did. We like to do it, and we love to rock. That is the big idea. 

Friendship is indeed quite a big idea! Now, what’s the main difference between A New Type Of Worry and One Day It'll All Be You

Well basically subtract one guitarist. A new type of worry we had two, but now we are back to our original lineup with one guitarist. 

"Was" Richard Hell a big inspiration for One Day It'll All Be You

Who? 

Haha, fair enough. It seems that they are almost three albums in One Day It'll All Be You, on the one hand, garage punk-ish songs like “Run All Night” and “Proofreaders”, on the other, post-punk songs like “Pariah” and “All Your Little Secrets”, and then experimental songs like “Willie’s” and “Sinking”… It makes me wonder about how this LP all came together?! 

It was definitely not an album created with a singular idea. These songs all started sounding similar but as they grew they changed into different songs, the feeling of the song remaining the same, but the interpretation or style differs.


The scene

I’ve recently conducted two short empirical studies on garage rock (here) and post-punk (here). I found out that there are more and more albums labeled as such, but the number of Google queries tends to decrease. What’s your impression from the inside? Do you find it more and more difficult to get support from playing shows and releasing music? 

Not really, I mean I think we have progressed a lot as a band so it makes sense that more people are interested. But general interest in guitar bands is probably lower than in the 70's and 80's. We weren't alive then, so... we don't notice the change.

In more recent times, we have seen the creation of a new genre at the end of the 2010s, and it’s about to take over the 2020s. Its name? “Post-skate” music. What is it? Speedy garage punk with a spoken voice (nothing like angry punks), a simplistic and very tight rhythm, a cathartic sound, almost chopped, anti-corporation lyrics, a mid-fi production (not too lo-fi), and bouncy melodies with a vehement tendency (listen). Some of your songs (“Don’t Take It Too Bad” and “Proofreader” fit the description, IMHO. What do you think of it? Is there such a scene? 

I'm not sure we really have anything like that here in New Orleans. But you definitely see that kinda monotone post-punk thing popping up more elsewhere. 

So... are you part of a scene, and if so, which one? 

No, not really. We just play with bands that we like. 


Tell us about the music scene in New Orleans. Is it going in the right direction? What would you like to change? 

There are tons of great bands here, some of my favorite bands are from New Orleans. But they may not be all connected. Maybe none of them are, it's hard to tell, our drummer and singer have moved away in the past two years so it's difficult to imagine ourselves in any local scene. 

Hm... so, how did you end up working with Feel it Records? The label is killing it these days, definitively a contender for best labels of the year IMHO… 

Basically every Feel It band that played in New Orleans kicked ass and we played several shows with Feel It Records' bands. Eventually, we saw Sam's ( feel it records owner) band Fried Egg (they kick ass by the way) and got to talking more and hit him up when we had our new record mixed. It's been a pleasure working with him and being on the roster with so many other great bands. 

Indeed, that's quite a fantastic roster! What is your favorite album of the last few months? 

Jack: Moszel Offline by Zelooperz.
Gabe: The new Smirk LP on Feel It. 


To conclude

Best tour memory? 

Hmmm... there're two that come to mind...

Our first show in Austin we played at Beerland with this band Leche who have become some of our best friends in music. After the show, we wound up hanging with them at this house that a bunch of the members of The Dicks used to live at. The dude Yago who lived there had produced some of The Dicks stuff, it was just generally a great night and the start of a friendship with some of the best people I know to date. Andy from Leche put out our last record A New Type of Worry on his tape label Digital Hotdogs that puts out some of the coolest shit in the world, definitely check it out. 

The other is this time after a show in Tallahassee our friend Reed (who plays in a band called Glazed) took us to crash this party that was like an afterparty for a circus? And it was their last night performing in the circus together so they were all really sentimental and whatnot. But after like 20 minutes, a bunch of acrobats come up to us are like "Hey I'm sorry you guys have to leave, you're not in the circus so you can't be here" and then out of nowhere our guitar player Christian is like "Oh ya are we not in the circus?" then on the spot does a fucking backflip (which I had never seen him, or known he could do) and we all just go fucking nuts. They still kicked us out after the backflip but it was hilarious. 

Haha, well... something to try on stage maybe! Speaking about which, when can we expect some new music from you? 

Hopefully sometime before 2022. We'll see. 

In the meantime, here's quite a big question for ya: is rock’n’roll (including the garage scene) just a joke? Should it be, or does rock’n’roll have an important role to play in today’s society? 

Rock & roll is not a joke, but it is very funny. 

One movie I should watch? 

This movie from Hong Kong called The Boxers Omen. It's like a kung fu/horror/fantasy movie. It kicks ass. 

Will do. How do you imagine your discography 20 years from now? 

Underwater with the rest of New Orleans. 

OK, last question: is “rock’n’roll dead”? 

Nope, and it ain't dying anytime soon!

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