The Connection interview

Hey! Here's is the english version of Brad Marino's interview published in the french magazine Rock Hardi. Even if you don't speak french, buy it to get the CD with "Don't talk To My Baby" by the Connection.Click on cthe cover.

Lecteurs français, si vous n'avez pas encore le numéro, dépêchez vous de le commander en cliquant sur l'image

Last year was quite prolific for The Connection, one of the best R'n'R combo of the moment. Started by the release of a compilation of rarities, it ended in Boston for a concert with the Real Kids and Nervous Eaters. Meanwhile,  The boys toured Europe and  released "Let It Rock", superb album without low time, not so common those days. It deserved that an assessment is done with Brad Marino, guitarist-singer.

 2013 was a fantastic year for you, 3 singles, a compilation, en album, plenty of concerts, what your most exciting souvenir?  
BRAD: Yes 2013 was quite a good year for The Connection. Our first "Full Length" album, our 2nd European Tour and we got to play with a lot of our favorite bands. Id say my favorite souvenir from it all is all the cool autographed concert posters/fliers I got.

What feedback did you have on "Let it Rock" in sales and in the media?
 BRAD: We have gotten some great feedback for "Let it Rock". Sales have been very good. It's almost out of print in America and it's done well in Europe. Also the Japan market has been very good as well. The reviews have been positive it seems like people are really digging it so we've been glad.
 There are only two years between "New England Newest Hit Makers" and "Let It Rock"Yet it seems this is not the same band? 
BRAD: Well I'm not sure what you mean by this. We have had a revolving cast of bass players and drummers thats true but The Connection will always be The Connection as long as it's me and Geoff. We started the band and write all the songs. If you mean that we've developed our sound- Yeah that too. "NENH" was more of a stripped down garage rock/64 Pop album and I think we've gotten to the point with songwriting that we can do all kinds of different types of songs. Which we both like to do. 
Let it rock" was released in the USA on Yum Yum, Ghost Highway in Europe and SP in Japan , "Today your lovetomorrow the world"
BRAD: Yes HAHA. Well we hope! We've toured Europe twice already and we would really like to do Japan sometime.
I read that you had an award for "Best Pop Band" at the Spotlight Awards. What's that
BRAD: Yes that's just a local paper here in Portsmouth, NH and we won "Best Pop Band" whatever that means. I guess we're a "pop band". Its nice to get some recognition in your hometown though.
In Europe you have played with and without keyboards, is the line-up fixed now?
 BRAD: Well we only sometimes-very rarely-play with keyboards. In the studio we use Kris Rodgers on all of our stuff. He's very busy doing his own songs as well as playing with many groups. He is a full time musician so he's not always available. In Europe this past tour we started the tour with someone for the first 2 Spanish dates but he turned out to be the biggest loser crybaby any of us have ever met. He starting acting crazy one night so we sent him packing back to America. We call it the "shame plane". He couldn't cut it on the road so we got rid of him. Only made it through 3 gigs. Never seen him since and hopefully will never see him again! We really don't need keyboards to play live. We've only ever had keyboards live about 10 times out of all the shows we've done in 2 years.
How was your European tour compared to last yearWhat are your best memories? 
BRAD: Europe is always a great time. People really care about music there and the shows are always packed. Everyone's really nice to us. We really appreciate the support everyone has for us over there. My best memory was probably our show at LOCO CLUB in VALENCIA SPAIN. That was a crazy night! One of the best shows we've had as a band. 
On the occasion of your visit to France you recorded 3 tracksHow did you find this plan and how ithappenedA chance to see this on vinyl
BRAD: Yes well we had a show get cancelled one day so we decided to make use of our time and booked studio time at WARM AUDIO in LEON(?) [Lyon] I think it was Leon anyways. We did a couple covers that were in our live set and a new original me and Geoff wrote in our hotel rooms along the way. It was a very cool experience to record in France. The 2 cover songs "The Kids are alright" and "First time"-The Boys will be on a very limited 5 inch vinyl on Ghost Highway Records sometime this year. 
There are also two excellent tunes of the New Trocaderos with Kurt Baker. Is this just a studio joke, a kind of "million dollars trio" or will you do gigs in this format? 
BRAD: This was just a studio thing only. A fan who became friend of ours Mike Chaney wrote the songs and asked us 3 to record them. They actually are cool songs and came out pretty good. It was fun to do it but I can't say that anything else will ever come of it. 
Brad, we did not know you were the New England's Ringo Star? 
BRAD: HAHA Yes I play a little drums. In another lifetime I was a drummer for an old band of mine. It was cool to play drums on a recording it had been about 6 years.
Geoff and  Bradyou came from the pop punk "lookout style" scene.  One has the impression that this scene turns around in circles for a while. What is your opinion on it? 
BRAD: Yeah growing up I fell in love with The Ramones which led me to all the Lookout Era bands cuz they sounded like the Ramones. I think the whole pop punk thing is pretty lame nowadays. There either a bunch of snobby brats or they are just too obsessed with The Ramones. They need to realize the Ramones were NOT a pop punk band. They were a rock n roll band and were influenced by Rock n Roll. I think the whole things pretty boring and lame quite frankly.
How was this Boston gig with the Real Kids and Nervous EatersHow was the audience? 
BRAD: That was a great show our best in Boston yet. We played really great and the crowd was really into us and it was a big crowd probably over 300 something people. It was a great time!
Bradyou told me about a possible recording with John FeliceIs it still relevant? Have you heard the new Real kids tapes? 
BRAD: Yes me and Geoff still talk and hangout with John at his place in Boston. We started working on some tunes but we've all been very busy so we have to get back on track and finish writing. There will be a CONNECTION with John Felice record someday though! John has played us the new album and it sounds great. It's like half new songs and half older songs from "Grown up Wrong" that were never recorded in a studio. I think it's great and people will like it.
You also played with the Groovies or Paul Colins Beat, do you get specialized in forgotten (not by everybody)  heroes of rock'n'roll
BRAD: Yes we played with The Flamin Groovies in November it was a blast. Really cool guys and a great band!  Paul is great too- we did his "Power Pop Fest 2" in 2013 as well. We've had a great year of shows all kind of great bands besides Real Kids/Nervous Eaters/Groovies/Paul we also played with Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and The Raiders/The Muffs and Dan Vapid and The Cheats. 
Among the new bands Wich ones did you have noticed in 2013
BRAD: Hmmm to be honest I haven't really heard any new bands lately. I'll say The New Trocaderos!
This year you had 3 songs nominated for the "coolest song of the world" in Little Steven's UndergroundGaragedid it made you reach a wider audience?
 BRAD: Yes it's always cool to get a "Coolest Song in the world". I think it's helped a bit probably not as much as we would wish but it's definitely turned some new people onto us I think. 
What are your good resolutions for 2014? and your wildest dreams? 
BRAD: My resolution was to not make one this year because I'd probably forget about it after a few days. But my goal for 2014 is to keep playing out. Hopefully do a west coast tour here in the states and get back to Europe or maybe even Japan who knows! And we've started to work on new songs for a new record so maybe by years end we will have the follow up to "Let it Rock" ready to go!
 RT for Rock Hardi

Terminal Licks

Terminal Licks
New powerpop kick coming from Toronto. The Terminal Licks are only two but make noise like four or more! Travis (gtr + voc) and Vassil (drms + voc) love 77punk and powerpop, from the Undertones to the Exploding Hearts, They've been in local bands (City Sweethearts for Vassil and Ultimatemost High for Travis) and still currently play with other band : Travis in King Creep (lo-fi garage) and Vassil in Absolut (savage hard-core under vodka). Terminal Licks happens to be a powerpoppy break in their noisy activities.  Their two demos on Bandcamp will delight the fans of the Buzzcocks but also those of The Cry! Four speed & catchy poppy tunes with great guitar work. 

Un duo, formule assez inattendue pour un groupe de powerop punky. les Terminal Licks sont de Toronto et réunissent Travis (gtr + voc) et Vassil (dms + voc) pour une récréation plus pop entre les prestations de leurs groupes respectifs : King Creep dans lesquels Travis pratique le lo-fi garage et Absolut où Vassil martelle un hard-core speed. Ce ne sont pas des inconnus puisqu'on retrouvait Vassil dans City Sweethearts (1 album sur P.Trash) et Travis dans les garagiste de Ultimatemost High (2 singles). Dans les 4 titres de leurs démos disponibles sur Bandcamp, on retrouve leurs influences (Buzzcocks, Undertones, Exploding Hearts) et un bon sens de la compo. Le son est encore un peu trop DIY mais l'ensemble mérite le détour à l'image de ce "You Won't See me Go" dans la lignée des Cry!

Rock Hardi

Sortie le 25 Mars

N°45 de Rock Hardi

Avec une interview de Brad marino de The Connection par votre serviteur et plein d'autres choses alléchantes + un CD avec The Connection, les Barracudas....
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Cool french Zine with an inteview of Brad from The Connection by your man! and more great stuff. Included CD with The Connection, Barracudas ....
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The Whacks

The Whacks
Well, another french band... but what can I do? Good bands are blooming here like flowers at springtime! The Whacks are a young parisian band playing great garage-power-pop-rock'n'roll ! Chuck Berry, Sonics, Fleshtones, Jon Spencer... you know it all... but Rock'n'Roll is always better when recreated by 4 exited kids!! and that's it!

La chose la plus étonnante avec le Rock'n'Roll, c'est sa capacité à s'auto-régénérer, sa résilience pour parler savant. The Whacks en est la manifestation la plus brillante, 4 gamins parisiens de moins de 20 ans de moyenne d'âge, même pas de quoi rentrer dans un troquet digne de ce nom au Texas... et en 4 morceaux, ils revisitent 50 ans de rock'n'roll de Chuck Berry à Lux Interior, des Sonics aux Nomads avec cette innocence et cette arrogance de leur jeunesse, comme les Coronados il y a 30 ans ou plus récemment les Fuzzy Vox qui pourraient presque passer pour des grands frères (n'oubliez pas de commander leur "On Heat", en passant). un peu à la manière du gang de Joinville, leur Ep est une décharge électrique salvatrice avec un beat tribal (c'est ça qui me rappelle les Fleshtones, sans doute), des giclées de guitare et une voix éraillée à la Roslie... est-il besoin d'en dire plus? "knocked down shotdown"!!
On regrette juste que ce 4 titres ne soit pas édité en vinyle.

One Way Ticket

One way ticket

 Another French power trio, this one comes from Besançon, is inspired by the spirit of the English mod movement and the U.S. powerpop, its name comes from a title of Nerves covered by Dogs in their time). Their last 2 demo tracks with this "Lean Me On" driven by a wha wha and an angry singing is very promising. We hope to hear more on vinyl soon!

Encore un power trio français, celui-ci nous viens de Besançon, s'inspire de l'esprit mod anglais et de la powerpop US , son nom vient d'un titre des Nerves repris par les Dogs en leur temps). Leur dernière démo 2 titres avec ce "Lean On Me" drivé par une wha wha hargneuse et un chant rageur est très prometteuse. On espère un vinyl pour confirmer!

Sewergrooves + Jetbone

Sewergrooves + Jetbone

Ghost Highway seems to have opened a direct air route between Sweden and Spain. With Cardboard Villains, Heavy-Tiger, the excellent Sewergrooves and young glitter-kids of Jetbone are part of the Spanish team. With "Essential Masters Volume EP", the Sewergrooves deliver a superb mini-album still in the same vein but with a bunch of good songs never achieved in their previous albums. My favorite album of the moment! The Jetbone after a mini Lp in 2012, releases a new single whose face A "Ain't It A Shame" is a small pearl of Glitter - High Energy R'n'R, controlled appellation wich was thought to come from Detroit but Sweden appears decidedly to be the preferred host-land!

Ghost Highway semble avoir ouvert une ligne aérienne directe entre la Suède et l'Espagne. Avec les Cardboard Vilains, Heavy-Tiger, les excellents Sewergrooves et les jeuneots de Jetbone font parti de l'écurie espagnole. Avec "Essential Volume Masters EP", les Sewergrooves nous délivrent un superbe mini-album toujours dans la même veine mais avec ici un condensé de bonnes chansons encore jamais atteint dans leurs précédents albums. Mon album favori du moment! Les Jetbone, après un mini Lp en 2012, récidivent cette fois avec un single dont la face A "Ain't It A Shame", avec son riff entêtant et son piano martelé, est une petite perle de Glitter - High Energy, appelation controlée qu'on pensait venir de Detroit mais dont la Suède s'avère décidément être le pays d'accueil privilégié!!