by Kelly La Croix
Bath Salts Brigade are a punk band from Great Falls, MT that specializes in the simple, aggressive, and catchy. I could come up with a bunch of superlatives or throw some pointless story in to introduce them, but I think that would be anathema to the spirit of the band. Instead, this list of their influences says exactly what you need to know about them without unnecessary frills or self-serious “writerly” garbage taking up space/your valuable YouTube fails video time: Skateboarding, Horror Movies, Sparks Malt Liquor. Perfect. Here’s an interview with Bath Salts Brigade:
Hello BSB! Who are you, what do you do in the band, and what would you be doing if you weren't in the band?
PJ: I’m the singer/songwriter/bass player/manager of Bath Salts Brigade, I guess I wear many hats in the band. If I weren’t playing in BSB I’d still be supporting local music artists, but I feel much happier when I’m creating something vs. being a passive consumer. I’d probably also have more time for reading and skateboarding.
Scott: I am the Guitarist/Backing vocals in the band. I’ve actually only been playing guitar for about a year and a half and I’m still progressing. When I’m not doing band stuff I’m usually skating, playing pool, or riding my motorcycle.
Jonny: I play drums/fold shirts/move equipment; I do a lot of the tedious tasks that my band mates are too busy to take care of. If I weren’t in the Brigade, I’d probably move to Indiana to be closer to my mom.
Give a history of your band, using only 140 characters (old twitter style).
We just wanted to play some gnarly rock n roll too break the monotony. So we started a punk band. Now we get into all the cool shows for free.
I see you guys state you're influenced by Lookout! Records style punk- do I hear some Mr. T Experience influence on the song you have up on bandcamp? Who else, specifically, do you guys look to for inspiration?
PJ: I guess that “Unbelievable” has a bit of an MTX or maybe Nerf Herder feel to it. I know I’m personally a huge Screeching Weasel fan, among other Lookout records bands like The Queers, The Dollyrots, and The Groovie Ghoulies. All of us are also fans of Fat Wreck Chords bands like: Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Mean Jeans, No Use for a Name, and Laramie, Wyoming-based Teenage Bottlerocket. We try to keep a good balance of a mix between late 80’s/early 90’s pop-punk sound and a heavier skate punk sound. Some of our faster, more aggressive songs are closer to The Dwarves or maybe Guttermouth in their style too. We have influences outside of punk rock as well, most genres of metal (Jon’s a big metalhead), some classic hip hop, roots reggae, and even rock n roll oldies are also on heavy rotation on the BSB playlist.
Good, simple but memorable logos are hard to come by (yours is one of them)- who did the art?
PJ: Ever since I read Steve Blush’s “American Hardcore” as a teenager I’ve been obsessed with the idea that a good band logo should be so simple and recognizable that anyone could draw it anywhere and know what it means. There’s a part in particular where Blush emphasizes the simplicity of the logos of Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. I sketched the initial logo and asked our talented artist friend Stephan* to clean it up on his computer and I’m still very impressed by it to this day. Please feel free to vandalize your favorite public bathroom stall with the BSB insignia.
Scott: We take a lot of pride in our logo and try to put it on everything we can. Stephan* took time out of his day to create some awesome designs for us and has worked with us through an amazing experience. We might have a few new things coming so look out for that.
*Note: We’d like to give a shoutout to Stephan Lee Curry here and say that you can expect a lot more art in collaboration with the band coming from him in the future. Also, a special thanks to our friend Tom Dunn who did the art on our current stickers. The art world should watch out for these two, because they’re going places.
If your band were in an 80's team movie (think Goonies, Monster Squad, any show where each character has a specialized role), what kind of character would each of you be?
PJ: This is a tough one… I guess I’m the ringleader, like Ferris Bueller. Sometimes I feel like I have a lot more in common with Cameron though. Is that an archetype, the misunderstood ringleader?
Jonny: I’m the lovable stoner who falls asleep in the back of the van (think Jeff Spicoli).
Scott: I’m going to say I’m the kid who invents/fixes things, like Data from the Goonies. I’m very mechanically inclined and a quick learner.
The makers of Monopoly come banging on your door. You get to create the next tiny metal game piece. What do you have them make?
Jonny: A pentagram… or maybe a bong. I got a lot of ideas for pseudo-monopoly game pieces man.
PJ: ‘already been chewed’ bubblegum.
Scott: SKATEBOARD!!! Not a damn longboard! Longboards are ‘wrongboards’.
The makers of Monopoly come banging on your door. They say you can only carry one thing with you, and then force you to come with them (presumably, you have drawn the GO TO JAIL card).
Jonny: My bong and fuck the police!
PJ: Some dank nachos dude! Extra cheesy!
Scott: Lube… haha
Has anyone in the band actually TRIED bath salts?
Scott: Nope, just bath bombs.
Jonny: No bath salts here, but weed is my best friend.
PJ: Not me personally. I think we might all be posers to the niche community of synthetic cathinone users. The name is supposed to be poking fun at the Bones Brigade; Powell-Peralta’s skateboard team from the 80’s. We have taken some shit for it though. We played a small town outside Bozeman and some local cops passing by saw our merch and started asking us questions about the name, they didn’t seem to get the joke. Some people don’t have the same sense of humor or are easily offended, so I get some horrified looks when I tell people the name of my band sometimes. I guess it’s a good thing, because it means people remember it, and it’s probably one of the most offensive names that we could publicly put on a flyer. What’s a little controversy in punk rock anyway? Either way, the name is here to stay, fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.
Goal for the next year:
PJ: We got one of our songs (“Dare I Say”) on a 7” compilation titled “Shut The Fuck Up and Listen Vol. 10” featuring FANG, Dayglo Abortions, and Potbelly (to name a few). That record’s being released by “P.I.G. Records” and should be out mid-Fall season. Our next step is to get back in the studio and finish recording the full-length album that we put on hiatus so that we wouldn’t miss the Spring/Summer show season. We plan to release it on our own, all DIY and just see if we can generate enough buzz and maybe we can afford to go on tour. I know we’d all enjoy getting to play some shows with bands that influenced us who may be touring through Montana as well. It’d be really rad to play more all ages shows too, because it makes life-long fans, and inspires kids to create something. I wouldn’t be doing this all if I hadn’t gone to every show I could when I was a kid.
Jonny: Personally, I want to get new cymbals. Other drummers always give me shit for my cymbals.
Scott: We are all about the music. So we love playing shows and talking with fans. Spreading our music is what we pride in.
Where can the readers learn more about you (website, band camp address, etc)?
Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp. We’ll also be playing Flathead Valley Metalfest August 17-18, 2018 in Kalispell the weekend after Dreyfest. We also recommend following P.I.G. Records on social media for news on the STFU Vol. 10 compilation and any other future releases by them. Skate fast, eat ass! -BSB