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Growwing Pains interview with Zak Bratto, Jeff Urcheck, Jake Kmiecik and Adam Hunter

This shit is fun.  I could say a lot more about it, and I’ll say some more here in a second, but the best thing, the thing that Growwing Pains really has going for them, is the fun factor.  I talk to a lot of bands that are full of just barely twenty-something year old kids, but not a lot of them successfully capture the delightful, energetic melancholy of your late teens and early twenties, not like Growwing Pains do.  Their debut full-length, 17 Songs About The Same Girl for Urinal Cake Records will not only transport you back to those few months before you packed up and moved out of your mom’s basement, but it’ll have you phoning up your high school buddies for a couple of beers, snagging the old record collection out of the garage and maybe even making a drunken midnight call to that certain high school someone you never got up the balls to talk too back in the day.  What I’m saying is, get ready to get nostalgic for a time gone by, which may have never even have happened to begin with, because Growwing Pains’ music is like viewing your life retrospectively through rose coloured beer goggles.  The franticly, emphatic and simplistic guitar hammers away in the roe of noise along with perfectly distorted and blown-out bass and drums, while the vocals remind me a lot of a mumbled Sex Pistols version of Joe Strummer, or something.  The keys aren’t drowned out here either, thankfully.  Instead, they’re used as a separate layer to the music along with the guitar to propel each two-minute explosion, a blaring reminder of where this music’s coming from and what it’s all about.  Blended together in Growwing Pains, you have a well-oiled machine of twisted insanity and brilliant punky madness.  I’m not gonna yammer on anymore, though.  Growwing Pains isn’t the kind of band you sell someone on.  You like ‘em, or you don’t, and I’m sure you’ll know which it is for yourself soon enough as there’s plenty about the band below, including links to music and tons of info and history if you’re so inclined.  So venture on fearless readers and Uncle Jerk’ll see ya on the other side!
Listen while you read:

What’s the lineup in Growwing Pain right now?  Is this the original lineup or have you all made any changes since the band started?

Zak:  Right now the lineup is Jake on drums, Jeff on keys, Adam on guitar, Josh on bass and sometimes guitar and vocals, and myself playing guitar and singing.  We first started off as an extension of Adam and mine’s old band, Adam and Zak Forever, and it was pretty much just an excuse for me to joke around and play guitar and scream and stuff.  We were pretty sketchy for a while.  I still barely know how to play guitar.  We added Jake on drums after like two shows of that and things just kinda grew from there.

Are any of you in any other active bands or do you have any side projects going on right now?  Have you released anything with anyone else in the past?  If you have, can you tell us a little about that?

Zak:  Hah, yeah.  We’re all in a ton of other bands.  Adam and Jake are in a killer two-piece called Fake Surfers.  Adam, Jake and I are in a noise jam band called Brothels.  Jeff, Adam and I are in a band called Village Wives.  Josh and Jake are in another band called Bonny Doon with their old roommate Billy.  Josh is in another band called The Bibs with Chris from All Gone Records.  And I’m supposed to be starting another one this week, I guess. 

How old are you and where are you originally from?

Zak:  I’m twenty years old and I’m originally from Ferndale, Michigan.

Adam:  I’m twenty one, originally from Pleasant Ridge, Michigan.  I live in Hamtramck, Michigan now.                       

Jeff:  Twenty two.  Dearborn Heights and the West side of Detroit.

Jake:  Twenty.  I grew up/live in Detroit.

What was the local music scene like where you grew up?  Did you see a lot of shows when you were younger?  Do you feel like that scene played a large or integral part in shaping your musical tastes or in shaping the way that you perform at this point?

Zak:  Growing up the music scene was great.  I have very fond memories of going to shows with Adam when were really young, and always being blown away by whatever bands we saw.  Our close group of friends would always be listening to new things for the first time and turning one another on to whatever we were listening to.  Yeah, I’d say I’ve always been inspired by the bands and people around here.

Jeff:  I didn’t really start going to a lot of shows until I was maybe a junior in high school.  I just sort of met other people who I was in another band with and went to shows with them, and then met the rest of the dudes at shows/school.

Adam:  We started going to shows once I got a license and could drive us.  At first, we mostly just went to stuff at the Magic Stick because most places were 18+.  That time in my life was really great, it was when we first started playing in bands and were seeing all this cool music and were just stoked about everything.  So to answer the question, yes.

What about your home when you were growing up?  Were either of your parents or any of your close relatives musicians or maybe just extremely interested/involved in music?

Zak:  Neither of my parents were ever super involved with music, although my dad played drums for a long time growing up.  My mom is probably the least musical person I could think of off the top of my head.  Her favorite band is probably like Mozart or some shit, and I say that in the most loving way possible.  She works for a non-profit.  My dad does freelance graphic design work and teaches art at a college.  They used to own a business together when they were married that they ran out of our house when I was a kid.

Adam:  My uncle plays guitar, but nobody I’m blood relatives with plays anything.

Jake:  Both of my grandparents on my mom’s side were singers in the 40’s.  We have some old 78s of their recordings…  Though they’re not of any great quality, they had a pretty lasting effect upon me.  My mom grew up in the 60’s, and she always had great, classic records and stuff around.  Good taste.

Jeff:  I grew up with my mom and grandparents.  My mom played accordion in a band in the 60’s and 70’s and kind of urged me to be musical in whatever way I wanted.

What do you consider your first real expose to music to be?

Adam:  Music has been my main interest since I was like nine, so it would be hard to pinpoint one thing…  The first like, “punk show” I went to was Mudhoney with Terrible Twos and Easy Action.

Jeff:  An N*SYNC concert.

If you were to pick a moment that seemed to change everything for you and opened your eyes up to the infinite possibilities that music presents, what would it be?

Zak:  I don’t think I could really narrow it down to a single moment.  Some things you just naturally gravitate towards.  Music has just always been the thing that makes everything else in life feel worthwhile, and it’s always acted as a way to connect with people through shared experiences.

Adam:  I’m not like a Bob Dylan nut or anything, but when I was like fifteen I was listening to Highway 61 Revisited, and that was the first real inspiration I ever had to write a song.  A lot of those lyrics are just kinda nonsense, I figured I could probably pull it off.

Jake:  I feel like so many bands our age had this same experience, but seeing the Black Lips really changed things for me.  I’d played music before, but seeing them for the first time really opened my eyes to the reality music could occupy in my life.

When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music?  What brought that decision about for you?

Zak:  I never really made a conscious decision to start writing my own music.  It just sort of seemed like the natural thing to do.  A lot of what I like about music is the freedom to do whatever you want with it, so although playing someone else’s music can be fun at times, it feels kind of unnatural, or at least unfulfilling, comparatively.

What was your first instrument and how did you get that?

Zak:  The first instrument I learned to play was the drums.  My dad used to play, and he gave me his old Ludwig kit when I was like twelve and taught me how to play “Green Onions” by Booker T. & The M.G.’s, ha-ha.  I still gig with that kit all the time.  It’s probably my favorite thing that I own.

Adam:  Guitar.  I had a little toy one when I was like five, then got this little cheap acoustic a couple years later.  I still play it all the time. 

Jeff:  I got a guitar when I was eleven for my birthday and took lessons for a while.

How did the members of Growwing Pains originally meet and when would that have been?

Zak:  Adam and I were next-door neighbors growing up.  I met Josh at a house party that our first band played at my parents’ house during sophomore year of high school.  I met Jake because he was drumming for several different bands we used to play with in high school.  I don’t think I could pinpoint exactly when I met Jeff, but Jeff is the best dude ever.  All those guys are the best. 

Adam:  Zak and I grew up together, we were neighbors.  I met Josh, Jake and Jeff at our high school.  Jake was a year older than me, but I found out somehow that he liked the Black Lips and just asked him to jam one day.  Josh was like the second friend I had at that school, he dressed kinda like the Beatles, which I thought was stupid, but also really cool at the same time. 

Jeff:  I played bass for like one or two shows way back in the day, but then Josh took that over.  Then Zak asked me to do keys on the album, and I was super stoked and just kind of fell in.

Jake:  High school.  These dudes saved me from being lonely forever.

When and what led to the formation of Growwing Pains?

Zak:  It’s like a whole thing, but the short version is; we were just really good friends and enjoyed playing music and hanging out together.

Adam:  Zak and I were doing this band called Adam and Zak Forever, and Jake and I started our band Fake Surfers.  Then one time, both bands were on the same bill, and we just told Jake to drum for Adam and Zak Forever even though he didn’t know any of the songs, ha-ha.  Our first couple of shows were total wrecks, feedback, sound guy cutting us off and being told to leave, not knowing our own songs, all that.  Then we decided to take the name Growwing Pains and practice.  We asked Josh to join a couple months later, even though he had just attempted to cut his own hair and looked like a crazy person.  There was a picture of it in the Metro Times.  Jeff joined a little before our first tour.

Is there any sort of creed, code, ideal or mantra that the band shares or lives by?

Zak:  Sheryl Crow, “Everyday Is a Winding Road”.

Adam:  Not really.

Jeff:  Jerkin’ in it any roadside bathroom we can find.

What does the name Growwing Pains mean or refer to in the context of your band name?  Is there any relevance to the second ‘W’ in your name, or anything?  Who came up with the name and how did you all go about choosing it?  Are there any close seconds that you almost went with that you can recall?

Adam:  Zak thought of it.  We added the second ‘w’ so that it wouldn’t be the same as that TV show.  We didn’t even think about it at first, but then everyone kept making wisecracks about it being a show, so there’s an extra ‘w’ now.  It also looks cooler I think. 

Where’s Growwing Pains located at these days?

Zak:  Hamtramck/Detroit.

How would you describe the local music scene where you’re at?

Zak:  Pretty dope. 

Jeff:  It’s full of really sweet stuff.  There’re a lot of punk, garage, and psych bands around here.  And because of how shit works, with everyone going to a lot of the same bars and venues to see out of town stuff with their friend’s band, or just a really good bunch of local dudes, everyone gets to know each other, and new bands form out of that.  It’s a really tight knit scene, and it’s really great.

Adam:  I love it.  There’s a ton of great bands here, and new ones forming all the time.  It seems like I keep finding out about new stuff every day.

Do you feel like you’re very involved in the local music scene?  Do you book or attend a lot of local shows or anything?

Adam:  Yeah, I book shows for out of town friends.  I go to a lot of shows too.

Zak:  Yeah sure, I help out with setting up shows for touring bands whenever I can, and go to shows a bunch. 

Jeff:  I don’t really book many shows, but I feel kind of involved.  I mean Growwing Pains play a pretty good amount of shows, and Adam, Zak, and I have another band called Village Wives that’s starting to play a bit more.  And Fake Surfers and Brothels both consist of some of us.  So we’re kind of out all the time.

Do you feel like the local scene has played an integral role in the sound, history or formation of Growwing Pains?  Or, do you feel like you all could be doing what you’re doing and sound like you do regardless of your location or surroundings?

Zak:  A little of both I guess.  I’ve always been really inspired by what’s going on here, but at the same time I think it’s important to do your own thing and stay in touch with that.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

Are you involved in recording or releasing any music at all?  If you are, can you talk about that briefly here for us?

Zak:  Yeah, I just started getting into recording this year, but I’ve always been into doing little home demos and solo stuff where I can play all the instruments.  It’s one of my favorite things to do, for sure.

You all have a really sweet sound that’s just bursting with different sound.  Who would you cite as your major musical influences?  What about as a band rather than just individually?

Zak:  Thanks a bunch, man.  There’re so many, but for this band I’d say the staple few have always been Jay Reatard, Wipers, Useless Eaters, Straight Arrows, Raw Prawn and Milk Music.  However, recently, I’ve been getting into a lot mellower, lyrically based stuff and I think our music will change in the future because of that.

What’s the songwriting process like with Growwing Pains?  Is there someone who usually comes in with a finished riff or idea to share with the rest of the band and kind of work out and compose that way?  Or, do you all get together to practice and just kind of kick ideas back and forth until you distill and polish out something that you’re interested in working on and refining?

Adam:  Usually Zak will come in with the skeleton of a song, and we jam on it and figure out our own parts.

Jeff:  Yeah, Zak comes in with an outline of a song, and we all just sort of jam on it to write our parts and kind of vibe it out from there. 

What about recording?  I think that most musicians can obviously appreciate the end result of all the time and effort that goes into making an album when you’re holding that finished product in your hands.  Getting to that point though, getting stuff recorded and sounding the way that you want it to as a band, especially, can be extremely difficult to say the least.  What’s it like recording for Growwing Pains?

Zak:  I’ve never thought of us as a band that comes across very well on recordings.  Luckily, we’ve had the privilege of working with some really talented people.  We generally record really fast, because we don’t have the budget to stay in a studio for a long time and develop a really solid finished project.  Hopefully, that will change with the next record we put out.  I think it’ll be a lot different sounding than the last one. 

Do you all like to take a more DIY approach when you record and handle the technical aspects of things on your own so that you don’t have to work with or compromise with anyone else about the process or recording or do you like to head into the studio and let someone else handle the technical aspects of things so you can concentrate on getting the best performances possible out of yourselves?

Zak:  In my personal life I like to record by myself, because I have more time to think about what I want to do and come up with something I’m really happy with.  But for this band, it’s been nice going into a studio and getting to work with people and getting other outside perspectives, personalities and ideas involved.  It’s more of a fun, social thing that way as well.

Adam:  Personally, I like having someone else record it, but we do a fair amount of home demos too.

Is there a lot of time and effort that goes into getting songs to sound just so-so, with every aspect and part worked out before you head in to record?  Or is it more of a situation where you head in with a good skeletal idea of what a song’s going to sound like, while leaving plenty of room for change and evolution during the recording process?

Adam:  We know what we are going to play for a song, but keep an open mind about different ideas and experiments.  Sometimes, we record a song exactly how we play it, and others songs end up sounding way more out there than what we do live.

Jake:  I find that songs sound best after playing them live for a while.  We usually record songs that we’ve been playing, and I feel that allows us the time to figure out all the intricacies needed to make a song interesting.

People have been tapping into the altered states that psychoactive and hallucinogenic drugs produce to create and aid with their art for thousands or years.  Do either of those play a large role in the songwriting, recording or performance processes for Growwing Pains?

Zak:  Yeah, I’ve noticed a direct correlation between me doing acid and getting really into chorus pedals.

Adam:  Once you do that stuff a couple times, you think about everything a little differently.  So I guess the answer would be yes, for me.  I’ve never tripped while recording or playing a show, but when writing, yes, sometimes.

Let’s talk a little bit about your back catalog for a second.  In 2011 you released the I Hate All My Exes Demo.  I did a little bit of looking around but couldn’t find to many details about that.  Was that a digital only release or was that available physically as well?  If it was released physically who put it out?  When and where was the material for All My Exes recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?

Zak:  Yeah, that was a self-released demo CD of the first recordings we ever did.  It was just straight-up, one take of each song recorded with one USB condenser mic.  I don’t even think I have a copy anymore. 

Last year you had a song included on the Gold Tapes Mixtape Vol. 2 cassette “Baby Give It To Me” and you were also featured on the Kommie Kilpatrick – Final Show Compilation cassette as well.  I know that the Kommie Kilpatrick comp was released on cassette.  Was the Gold Tapes Vol. 2 a digital only release or was that released as a cassette as well?  Either way, do you know how many copies either of those releases were limited to?

Zak:  Yeah our buddy Zak F just put up a mix of a bunch of songs from local bands to help spread the word around.  I think it was just a digital download.  Not sure how many copies of the Kommie Kilpatrick tape were actually released, but I would guess around 50 or so.

Earlier this year you dropped your debut full-length album, 17 Songs About The Same Girl for Urinal Cake Records.  Was the recording of the material for 17 Songs About The Same Girl very different than the session(s) for your earlier releases?  Who recorded 17 Songs About The Same Girl?  What kind of equipment was used?  When and where was that at?  When I was reading about 17 Songs For One Girl I read that the title wasn’t a misnomer or anything and that all the songs were actually written about one girl.  If that’s true it seems like she either had to be pretty captivating or a real bitch to be that motivating, ha-ha.  How did an album about one person come about?  Did you plan on that from the beginning of recording, or did it just kind of naturally gravitate in that direction?

Zak:  All of those songs are really old.  Like, from when we were like seventeen.  It was recorded and mixed by Chris Koltay at High Bias Studios in Detroit, great dude.  The basic tracks were recorded just like, “plug and play” style, and then we added keys and overdubs later and let him work his magic.  The title for the album isn’t actually literal.  It’s just kind of a joke about music in general.  We thought it was funny and catchy.

When I was talking to you recently you were telling me that you were already getting ready to release your sophomore album, What Day Is Your Funeral Again?  Has that already been recorded or are you still working on it?  Did you try anything radically new or different when it came to the songwriting or recording of the new album?  Do you have a projected release date for that at this point or know who’s going to be putting it out?  If you’ve already recorded it, can you tell us a little bit about that?  Where was that and when would it have been?  What kind of equipment was used?

Zak:  Yep, we’re stoked on it.  It was recorded by Derek Stanton at Molten Sound Studios in southwest Detroit, another great guy.  It’s a bit more abrasive sounding songs than the last session, more modulation effects and synth on this one.

Does Growwing Pains have any other music that we haven’t talked about yet, maybe a song on a compilation or a demo that I might not know about?

Zak:  Not at the moment, but we’re working on it.

Other than the upcoming single, What Day Is Your Funeral do you all have any other releases planned or in the works at this point?

Zak:  Yeah, we have a split that just came out with a band called Fox Fun from Nashville, Tennessee on Glad Fact Records.  They’re great!

Where’s the best place for our US readers to pick up copies of your stuff at?

Zak:, and random record stores across the US.

Adam:  Midhaven has it, Urinal Cake records website, too.  We just did a 7-inch on a label out of Nashville called Glad Fact.  If you want that you could get in touch with them somehow.

With the completely insane international postage rate increases that just don’t seem to be letting up, where’s the best place for our interested overseas and international readers to score copies of your stuff?

Zak:  I’m honestly not sure, but I’d say fuck the postage and still go with Urinal Cake because they’re the best.

And where would the best place for people be to keep up with the latest news like upcoming shows and album releases at?

Zak:  Probably our Facebook page.

Are there any major plans or goals that you’re looking to accomplish in the rest of 2014 or 2015?

Zak:  Just basically touring more, recording another album, and writing more new songs.

Adam:  Got a 7” in the pipeline, bunch of new songs.  You know, just being a band. 

What, if anything, do you all have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?

Adam:  We’re playing some dates around a show in Milwaukee on October 4th.  In 2015 we plan on doing a lot more touring.  Every major city in the country is my goal.

Do you all spend a lot of time our on the road or touring?  Do you enjoy being out on tour?  What’s life like on the road for Growwing Pains?

Zak:  We try to tour as much as we can.  I love it.  It’s always fun to hang out with the guys. Last tour, our friend Claire tagged along too and that was super cool.

Do you remember what the first song that Growwing Pains ever played live was?  When and where would that have been at?

Adam:  I don’t, really.  It might have been at the P.L.A.V. Post #10 in Hamtramck, or the New Way bar in Ferndale…  I don’t remember.

Jake:  Definitely P.L.A.V. Post #10 in Hamtramck!

Zak:  Ah man, I feel like it was probably just some terribly unrehearsed rendition of “Shy Love” at P.L.A.V. Post #10 in Hamtramck, ha-ha.  That show was so fun.

Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to play with over the past few years?

Zak:  Off the top of my head; Useless Eaters, Wimps, Bad Sports, Hlep, Kommie Kilpatrick, Goners, Bohika Sheiks, Johnny Ill Band, Terrible Twos, Protomartyr, Psychedelic Horseshit, D Watusi, Feelings, Tyvek, Deadbeat Beat, Astral Gunk, and Turn to Crime.  I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch.  As far as the most fun gigs go though, I feel like we’ve had some really good times playing with our buddies, Los Pendejos and The Vonneguts.

Adam:  We play with tons of great Detroit bands, Terrible Twos, K9 Sniffies, Frustrations, SROS Lords, Tyvek, Feelings.  We played the Piranhas and Fontana reunion, that was sick.  The list goes on.  As far as out of town bands, Nobunny, Bad Sports, Useless Eaters, Wimps, Sonny and the Sunsets, Liquor Store, Natural Child, Blind Shake, Mouthbreathers, Goners, Pierced Arrows, Fox Fun, Obnox, Tacocat, Ttotals, Jacuzzi Boys, a ton, just a ton.

Jeff:  The Tera Melos/This Town Needs Guns show was my absolute favorite, but just look at the other answers and you pretty much have most of my answers too.

Jake:  Goners, Wimps, Natural Child, Tops, I don’t know, all of ‘em!

In your dreams, who are you on tour with?

Zak:  I think a lot of the fun of being on tour is not always knowing what band you’ll be playing with next and getting pleasantly surprised when you play with one you really like.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?

Zak:  Too many to list.

Adam:  There’s a ton of funny shit, but I don’t think it would really translate that well on paper.

Do you all give a lot of thought to the visual aspects that represent the band to a large extent?  Stuff like flyers, posters, shirt designs, covers and that kind of thing?  Is there any kind of meaning or message that you’re trying to convey with your artwork?  I know Zak was heavily involved in that aspect of things and does art on his own, or at least he did last I checked.  Who do you usually turn to in your times of need when it comes to that kind of thing?  How did you originally get hooked up with them?

Zak:  Yep, at times more thought than the actual music.

Adam:  The artwork is very important; I don’t understand how some bands just don’t really care about that.  I sometimes buy records just because I like the cover.  Also, Zak does most of the art.  Our friend Nathan Jerde did a design for us that I really love though.

With all of the various methods of release that are available to musicians I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the mediums that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for your own music?  What about when you’re listening to and or purchasing music?  If you do have a preference, can you tell us what it is and a little bit about why?

Zak:  I feel like as long as you have the songs and you can enjoy them the way that you like to, that’s all that really matters.

Adam:  I don’t have too much of a preference.  I buy records because it seems like everyone is putting their stuff out on vinyl now, so if I want it that’s what I buy.  If something’s only on CD or cassette or digital, that’s what I get.  I guess I would say 7-inches are my favorite medium.  I don’t know why exactly, I just think they're cool.

Do you have a music collection at all?  If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Adam:  I don’t really think of it as a “collection”, but yeah, I have a lot of records, tapes, files, and CDs.

Jeff:  I guess I kind of do.  It’s not huge, but I have around 300 LPs, and like a hundred 45s.  A third of them are just standards and beat up copies of classics you find in the dollar bin, but I like getting stuff from bands when they come through town or when we play a show with them on the road.  It feels more personal and it’s awesome to think of the time you saw them play in whatever city you were in when you spin the record.

I grew up around my dad’s collection of absolutely killer vintage psych, blues and anything rock.  Not only that, he would take me around when I was a kid and pick me up random stuff that I was interested in from the local shops when I was a kid.  As a result I developed this sort of ritual of kicking back with a set of headphones, staring at the cover art, reading the liner notes, and just letting the whole experience transport me off on this whole trip.  I developed this deep love of physical music from a pretty young age as a result, and having something physical to hold in my hands to experience along with the music has always made for a more complete listening experience.  Do you have any such connection with physically released music?

Adam:  Yea, having something physical and not just a file is satisfying, especially if it’s really well done. I like the way the label Total Punk records puts out things because it’s all hand stamped (or screen printed). Having stuff hand made is always way cooler to me than just having it made at a pressing plant.

Jake:  I think listening to music in that setting lets you glean a lot more from the experience.  If you listen to music while cleaning your house or working or doing whatever, your primary attention is focused elsewhere.  I always find my deepest experiences with music are when I’m doing nothing but that: listening to it.  It lets you get totally enveloped in the artist’s world.  It’s kind of a psychedelic experience.  Love it. 

Zak:  Yeah, what Jake said.  Exactly what Jake said.

Like it or not, digital music is here in a big way.  But digital music is just the tip of the iceberg in my humble opinion.  When you team it with the internet, that’s when things get really interesting.  Together, they’ve exposed people to the literal world of music that they’re surrounded by, allowed for an unparalleled level of communication between bands and their fans and eliminated geographic boundaries that would have crippled bands only a few years ago.  On the other hand though, while people may be exposed to more and more music they’re not necessarily very interested in paying for it and people’s relationship with music is constantly evolving and it seems like digital music has made music seem much more disposable and forgettable.  As a musician during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?

Adam:  I don’t ever buy records online, or on iTunes or whatever, I get most of my music from bands at their shows or at record stores on tour.  I like having a memory of getting it, it means more to me that way.  If I download something, it’s usually to see if I like it, and if I do, I buy the record or CD when I find it.  Digital music is just a placeholder.  I will say that if it weren’t for MediaFire and other sites like it, I wouldn’t know about nearly as many bands as I do.

Jeff:  It’s a double edged sword, really.  On the one hand, you can make your music so much more accessible on the internet and via social networks than before.  Like, if a band plays a show with you and then gives you a shout-out on Facebook or Twitter or something, you can find other listeners a lot quicker than you used to, and by getting posted on websites or in magazines like this, people can go find us on the internet and listen to our stuff and go to our show if we tour there. On the other hand, you have stuff like digital streaming services that don’t really pay bands much of anything, and people don’t have to buy the record to listen to it.  I mean, I won’t get into torrenting and stuff because I do that if I lost my download code or just can’t find a physical copy of an album.  So, it helps and hurts, but for a band that isn’t playing shows with like ten thousand dollar per-person guarantees, it’s really helpful in terms of putting a name out.

Zak:  Yeah, I agree with what Jeff said.  For me it feels like the Internet has exposed our generation to so much music and art, both good and bad that, frankly, we wouldn’t have heard of otherwise.  Has it desensitized us a bit?  Yes.  Has it exposed us to a ton of great stuff that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise?  Absolutely.  I feel like at this point, it’s sink or swim.  It’s the musician’s job to make something that stands out amongst the masses and I’m sure that frightens a lot of people that are struggling to stay relevant.  But that fact is, things change and you can either waste your energy fighting against something you’ll ultimately never be able to change, or you can take that energy and use it in a positive way.

I try to keep up with as much good music as I possibly can but there’s just not enough time to even listen to one percent of the amazing stuff that’s out there right now.  Is there anyone from your local scene or area that I should be listening to I might not have heard of?

Zak:  Alright, fuck it.  I’m gonna plug it big time.  Here goes; Help, gotta be one of the sickest local bands I’ve seen in a while although I’m not sure if they’re a band anymore.  Here’s a link to their recordings, Johnny Ill Band, totally great, one of my all-time favorites, never heard anything like it.  Roachclip, Deadbeat Beat, Brownstown Gals, Bonny Doon, Feelings, Rebel Kind, their song “Baby, Baby, Baby” is just so sweet and comforting.  Their singer has such a good voice.  I really like this band.  Protomartyr; great dudes, great band.  And Terrible Twos.

What about nationally and internationally?

Zak:  Here goes, lookout there’s a ton!  Bitch Prefect, if you don’t check out any of the other bands at least check out this one.  Here’s a link to my favorite recordings of theirs.  Meat Thump, Kitchens Floor, Raw Prawn, Ghastly Spats, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, Tomorrows Tulips, Straight Arrows, Milk Music, The Lemons, Juan Wauters, The Beets, Love Chants, The Memories, Angie, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Eat Skull, Limes, UV Race, Lower Plenty, Laurence Wasser, Home Blitz, Bad Sports, Wax Museums, Woollen Kits, The Hunches, Tronics, Bazooka, Solid Attitude, Dads, The Hospitals, Dave E. & The Cool Marriage Counselors, Cap’n Jazz, Bossy, Brimstone Howl, Box Elders, Teenage Lovers, Erics Trip, and Daniel Johnston. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me about the band.  I know this wasn’t short but it was awesome learning this much about the band and I hope you all had at least a little bit of fun looking back on everything you’ve managed to accomplish as a band over the past few years.  Before we call it a day I’d like to open the floor to you, though.  Is there anything that I could have possibly missed or that you’d maybe just like to take this opportunity to talk to me or the readers about?

Zak:  Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us man.  I’d just like to say thanks to my fav guys Eric Love, Josh Gillis, and Chris Campbell for everything they’ve done for us.  Growwing Pains love ya!

Adam:  Thanks for talking to us.  I’d just like to say thanks to Eric Love and all our other friends in Detroit who have helped us, I wont go through the whole cast of characters, but you know who you are…

(2011)  Growwing Pains – I Hate All My Exes Demo – ? – Self-Released
(2013)  Various Artists – Gold Tapes Mixtape Vol. 2 – ? – Gold Tapes
(2014)  Various Arists – Kommie Kilpatrick - Final Show Compilation – digital, Cassette Tape – Gold Tapes (Limited to ? copies)
(2014)  Growwing Pains – 17 Songs About The Same Girl – 12” – Urinal Cake Records (Pill Pink Vinyl 12” limited to 100 copies)
(2014)  Growwin Pains/Fox Fun – Split – Digital, 7” – Glad Fact Records
(TBA)  Growwing Pains – What Day Is Your Funeral Again? – 7” – TBA

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
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