Death By Stereo on the Warped Tour with mxpx, lagwagon, nerd, vendetta red, bad religion, the damned, guttermouth, alkaline triO, good charlotte and others at Molson Park (Barrie), Saturday (August 17), 1 pm. $34.50. 416-870-8000.
so-cal punk outfit death by Stereo blend heavy doses of punk, metal and hardcore with duelling guitars, angry "Eat the rich" lyrics and a tongue-in-cheek attitude. With two records under their belt -- If Looks Could Kill I'd Watch You Die and Day Of The Death, the latter on the Epitaph label -- and another Epitaph release due out early next year, Death by Stereo have a spot on the Warped tour and things are looking sweet.
On the phone from the beach at Asbury Park, New Jersey, vocalist Efrem Shultz, who doesn't really want to eat the rich but has a problem with people who value money above all else, talks about the Warped Tour experience, interspersing remarks about the surrounding scene: feminine hygiene products floating by on the water, a used condom lying by his foot. ("I think I'll keep walking.") He paints such a vivid picture that I feel we're together instead of hundreds of miles apart.
The band, he says, has all kinds of fun-loving strategems for surviving the repetitive road experience.
"We constantly pelt people with squirt guns. Or we take a bunch of trash and attach a big piece of duct tape to it, then leave it lying around and wait for someone to step on it and drag trash around."
Diabolical. What we have here, class, is a sophisticated twist on the old loser-dragging-toilet-paper-around-on-his-shoe yuks. Then, Shultz continues, there's the make-the-macho-guy-look-like-an-idiot gag.
"A bunch of guys sit at a table with harmless little squirt guns and hide big super-soakers under their table. You wait for some big, tough guy to walk by with his girlfriend and someone squirts him with one of the harmless little guns so the big guy gets mad to tries to impress his girlfriend by coming after him. So then everyone at the table stands up and pulls out the big super-soakers and starts shooting him, and he gets so embarrassed he just walks away." Ha ha!
Wait. It gets dumber.
"We thought it would be funny to see who could last the longest with a moustache, so we all started growing them and got a whole bunch of other guys on the tour to start growing them. Then once everyone had full moustaches, we shaved ours off and said, "Jeez, you guys look like such nerds.'"
It's kind of high school, but Shultz observes that the whole tour is kind of high school. "Like, a rumour will start going around and suddenly the whole tour knows about it."
He can't give any examples when I ask for harmless ones, because "honestly, none of them are harmless."