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The Briggs

Just picture Rancid, Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphys teaming up for an album. Difficult? Well, just buy the brand new 'Come All You Madmen' album of The Briggs and you get a good estimated guess. With an almost careless ease the bands mixes East Coast punk with Boston's dark blue-collar punk. Sometimes folky, sometimes twin vocals, sometimes quick and aggressive, The Briggs will convince friend or foe with this little gem. If you're into good old-fashioned punk with a twist, this is what the doctor ordered for sure. Singer/guitarist Joey LaRocca took some time out to answer a few questions…

By: Frank D. | Archive under punk / hardcore

You guys have been on the road for what seems to be forever. When did you find the time to write the new album?
We actually wrote a lot of this record on the road. Because of our rigorous tour schedule we decided to try out writing on the road. Personally, I think I like doing that way better.

Just sticking to the “road life”. What is the most stunning adventure you can recall happened during your concerts?
In terms of weird shit: In Bamburg (Germany) while we were playing the kids were pitting and having a good time and don't remember what Jason (guitar) said to them but something like, "I wanna see you guys fuck" or something weird and one dude bent his friend over the stage, pulled down his pants, proceeded to take his dick out and approach his friends ass, we all screamed "NO" I didn't need to see that at all. Kinda a crass story but it came to mind.

The new album sounds really honest, authentic and melodic. Can you tell me more about the writing process?
Well, we felt like there was no point in writing a record without really saying something honest and meaningful, in the state of music today it's pointless to write a safe, boring record, there are far to many albums coming out every week for that.

What are your hopes for this new album?
I hope that people connect with our experiences and our thoughts. Lyrics are very important to me and I'd like to see people pay attention and listen up.

The time on the road seems to have given you some well known friends, when I look at the guest appearances on the album. It almost feels like the old times again, when the scene was more like a bunch of friends having a good time. I mean, lately I had the feeling that the punk scene had become more and more a business like every other part of the music industry. Do you recognize that?
Yeah, well one thing that we've experienced is we make some many friends along the way, people I never thought I'd have the chance to be friends with and I'm honored that they wanted to be a part of our project. I does give it a much more united vibe and makes it fun to see who is doing what.

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One of the highlights for me is 'Mad Men', which reminds me somewhat of Flogging Molly. Can you tell me what the lyrics and song are about?
Our industry we are a part of is dying. I feel we are a part of a very strange generation musically, politically, socially and I wanted to express that in somewhat of a playful way, where it's not a just hopeless and we shouldn't just give up but just accept the fact that we're all just a bit mad to be doing this.

Another compelling song is 'Charge Into The Sun'. What's the story behind that track?
Look at the state of things today, we as Americans have a lot on our minds. Having our choice to be a part of something you don't believe in taken away, being forced to stand back and watch our economy collapse and foreign relations become severely broken.

As a producer you took on Joe Gittleman. How did that come about and did he have an impact on the sound of the new album?
Joe has been with us for the past three records. He's become a very essential part of our recording process. He's a good set of ears that doesn't fall under the mercy of sparing feelings. He's honest and knows when something is good. In terms of direction that's more us but he helps fine tune what we want out of a song

Now, to rap things up I have a couple of choices for you. Take your pick and please tell me more about your choice.

Bad Religion or Anti-Flag?

Bad Religion, touring with Anti-Flag was cool, great guys but I've been a BR fan since I was a kid so it was a genuine honor to be a part of that tour.

Beer or whiskey?
Whiskey, hands down. Don't really care for beer, when I can help it I'm a cocktail kinda guy

U.S. or Europe?
Europe, I love it over there. I actually would like to live abroad for a couple years.

Major label or independent?
Indie, what's the point of a Major Label anymore?

Last question….when are you guys coming to The Netherlands again?
Hopefully in the fall.

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