This past week I was able to have an in-depth conversation with Colin Dieden, who has launched a new project called Little Hurt. Colin discussed his decision to leave his previous band (The Mowgli’s), how his new EP is coming together, and what the future looks like in this band in terms of touring plans and creating a grassroots campaign of getting the word out about Little Hurt.
The end result was Rocked: Sum 41 In The Congo, a documentary made in collaboration with NGO War Child Canada. It’s a story that culminates with the band under siege in a hotel room, taking shelter in bath tubs, as warring militias bombarded their surroundings.
“They almost paid with their lives to tell that particular story”, Executive Producer of War Child Canada, Dr. Samantha Nutt recalls of Rocked: Sum 41 In The Congo to Blunt Magazine.
“My job was really to brief them and to provide them with information and to answer their questions, and also to make sure to steward some of the interviews; to make sure that everything was being handled in a sensitive and appropriate way.”
Fallon points at the floor of the café, a collage of album sleeves. “That’s what I feel like I am,” he says. “But also books and TV shows, people, and places I’ve been. I feel like that’s what makes me up. It just comes out. Everybody has influences, even if a lot of people pretend they don’t. I’m not about trying to be original with every new thing. I’m not like: ‘I was born fully formed with all my ideas and I didn’t get this from anybody.’”
In 2018, just as Fallon was beginning to conceptualise his next solo move, The Gaslight Anthem regrouped to tour The ’59 Sound in its entirety to celebrate the LP’s 10th birthday. The experience was enormously validating at times but it also steeled his resolve to carry on under his own steam. The run, which featured dates on the east coast of the US, as well as in the UK and Europe, stirred complicated emotions. “It was not fun,” he says, with emphasis.
When I last sat down to write about a Billie Joe Armstrong project, I put my thoughts down on a band called The Longshot. What I wasn’t expecting from the new Green Day album, called Father of All Motherfuckers, is for that aforementioned side project to surpass the quality of the much more established brand. But alas, on Green Day’s 13th studio album, they have taken a few steps backward as they try and regain their footing. At first, it was tough for me to put my finger on where it went wrong on this record, but after re-listening to the album a few more times since its release date, it just isn’t as strong as I have come to expect from the pop-punk giants. Produced by Butch Walker, Chris Dugan, and Green Day, the album should have been a momentous creative igniter for the band to re-solidify themselves right before their most prominent touring stint in recent memory (the Hella Mega Tour with Weezer and Fall Out Boy). But instead, the final mixes of this record feel like they are missing a key ingredient in what made the band such a fun time in the first place.
Vulture put together a list of the “100 greatest emo songs” of all time. By and large, pretty damn good list. It’s full of great songs and there’s some massive nostalgia factor in there. Obviously, I have a pretty strong attachment to this genre of music. And, I thought the authors handled the issue of Brand New about the best you can:
Initially, they were considered a viable candidate because telling the story of emo without Brand New would be like making a 1980s list without Thriller. “More broadly speaking, there’s a difference between not supporting a band going forward and writing them out of history,” Garland noted. But on further reflection, this isn’t simply a historical account of emo, but rather a series of subjective opinions organized to quantify greatness. Especially after witnessing Leaving Neverland and Surviving R. Kelly in the time since the initial voting, it became impossible to include Brand New on this list and not replicate the same mistake that’s plagued popular music throughout history — condoning an artist’s actions and minimizing the victims if the music’s good enough.
This is a topic I think about a lot and I still have no good answers. I keep thinking one will come, but maybe I’m just lying to myself that I’ll be able to think my way to some kind of clarity. I’ve started and stopped various essays on this topic multiple times because I still feel too close to it and it always ends up with me in a weird headspace. But, how the authors handled this feels right to me.
Rock band Green Day collects its 11th top 10 effort, as Father of All… arrives at No. 4 with 48,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 42,000 are in album sales, enhanced by purchases of merchandise/album bundles via the group’s webstore.