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

October 12, 2014

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:  https://soundcloud.com/growwing-pains
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: 
urinalcakerecords.com, midheaven.com 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…
DISCOGRAPHY
(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
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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