They may call themselves no use for a Name, but the the So-Cal outfit have managed to make quite a name for themselves. They spent the summer on the Warped Tour and have just released their seventh full-length album, Hard Rock Bottom, a collection of short, catchy pop-punk tunes with a touch of emo, characterized by manic drumming from start to finish and interspersed with quirky sounds from instruments like strings and organ.
The album also features a cover of Sinead O'Connor's This Is A Rebel Song with Karina Denike on vocals, a screamingly out-of-place but interesting addition.
In the late 80s there were just a few bands kicking about playing catchy hardcore, blissfully unaware that a future flood of revival bands would catapult the genre into the mainstream.
While singer/guitartist Tony Sly is quick to admit that the mainstreaming of nu-punk bands has definitely been beneficial to NU4AN's musical career, he's just as quick to distance his band from the major-label mob.
"It helps in a way, but we don't think we're really a part of that scene. I just feel like we're doing our own thing."
The Warped Tour, he says, was good exposure, but headlining makes him much happier.
"Headlining our own tour is a breath of fresh air. You get to do things on your own schedule and it's a different environment. You're not out with 40 other bands like on the Warped Tour, where you don't even know everyone's name. And you get to play indoors, which I like better."
After this five-week tour, Sly plans to head back into the studio to record some acoustic solo tunes for the first time.
"I don't know what it's gonna be yet, but I have a couple of No Use for a Name songs I've always thought sounded better acoustically. So there'll be some songs we've already recorded as well as new songs I've written."
On top of that, NU4AN will be featured in a movie coming out at the end of this month on DVD
"It's called Selwyn's Nuts. We play ourselves. It's about this guy who gets treated like crap his whole life and decides to become a roadie, and the band he goes out with is us. Then we treat him like crap, and I don't really know about the rest of it. I haven't even seen the scenes we're in."
In March they may be headed for Japan, but he's wary about speculating.
"We're not trying to look too far into the future right now," says Sly.
Good plan. It tends to take care of itself.
NO USE FOR A NAME at the Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne), Tuesday (October 22). $20. 416-870-8000.