You want indie? I’ll give you some f-ing indie. Meet Running. They’re from Chicago and like they’re hometown heroes Big Black, they make a cacophonic noise that has a brilliant sense of anti-melody and rhythm deeply embedded. In this day of social media madness, Running are blissfully undercover. You won’t find a link to their TwitterFacebookMySpaceSoundcloud media blitz anywhere in this article. The picture at the top of this article? It’s a thumbnail of the cover of their album and it’s the only picture we could find. Nonetheless, we love. Therefore, we speak. Ravin does the honors.
Presented to you without editing, to give it that special unwashed feeling.
TDOA: Okay, first things first, who are you guys and how did the band come about?
R: we are 3 dudes that live in chicago, combined our ages and you still cant get a social security recipient so we are young fucks, we are very cranky and have a serious fixation with budweiser, pizzas and free grips. well one day i, alejandro morales, was at a party and matthew, obviously pretty drunk mumbled “wouldn’t it be cool to have a punk band?” and i said “rad” and later got together, sparked up a fat one and jammed. That same week I saw jeff, who i knew from around the neighborhood and asked him “homie, are you still busy with the Parsley Flakes? because I am looking for a axe man, wanna jam some punk tunes”…we wanted to go hardcore but our nards are not as big as the jocko types who play this outdated style of punk music. that was back in september of 2009, and in october 24 2009 we had our first show in a tiny basement ran by art school freshmen with ironic mustaches.
TDOA: The album feels like it was recorded on a boom-box in someone’s basement in the middle of a satanic ritual (this is meant to be a compliment). Was this the case? And were you attempting to capture the immediacy of performance, or were you just trying to get things down without much fuss?
R: you must be referring to our iphone recordings, nothing fancy, from the phone it went to our guy and we told him to make it sound lo-fi, kinda like shit i think we said. during the recording, we drank lots of beer, had pizza, maybe thought about a very curvy and sexy satan with fire boobs, i dont know if all but at least i did. we were trying to capture the feeling of having a fat gold chain around the neck, next to a burning trash can, all spitting rhymes like ice t before all that law and order shit.
TDOA: The album definitely pays homage to the tape-deck sounds of bands on fringe underground labels from the 80s. SSI, Tough and Go and Alternative Tentacles come to mind. Are you a fan of these labels from back in the day? And was it a conscious decision to take the sound of the record in this direction?
R: that was the shit then seriously, people with blogs creaming their pants about the past always end at the same place. we own many records from that era, but I think we are more into the pigfuckin scum rock of the eighties, the nihilist approach of pussy galore for example and they had their own SHOVE label. T&G stuff too, like the butthole surfers, their music has aged well, -that means it still sounds dangerous. In review if it sounds like a bad acid trip we are all over it. I love acid, but i cant do that anymore…nowadays a 4 loko and fried chicken does that same for me. Our sound is the way it is because of our incompetence and drunkeness so without effort we got to the sound, blame it on our poor school systems and cheap booze.
TDOA: It’s safe to say this album is not for the Sufjan Steven fans of the world. It pretty much smacks you in the face and ear-rapes you from the get-go. At first, it alienated me, but then I thought, hell yeah! So much new music sounds completely sterile and Apple-commercial friendly. Would you say your music is a reaction to the sanitized nature of much of current indie music (as well as mainstream)?
R: ear-rape, that is quite a concept. i dont think of it as a reaction as it is awesome to coexist in such a shitty vapid culture, i think we are happy to think that we are a stain in this long roll of artiste toilet paper, not hopefuls with names and tricks. Hey let’s start a band with a color and an animal name eh?… fuck that
TDOA: The nature of your sound (amp-roasting guitars, heavily reverbed vocals, chaotic drums) gives the record a nihilistic vibe. Would you agree with this assessment? Do you believez in nahtzing?
R: its the best way to translate sonically our we dont give a fuck attitude but the good kind of dont give fuck attitude. in the world there are many rules, but we are too lazy to break them see, we are paralyzed nihilists.
TDOA: There’s a YouTube show of you guys playing at the Mopery in Chicago recently. It’s bizarre. It feels like you’re performing in a chaotic post-zombie apocalypse America. In other words, rad… Is there anything more you can tell us about the show? And more importantly, do you believe in zombies?
R: the mopery was a big space with tents, people lived there and made music, totally awesome place with a liquor store just accross the street. we played many shows there, but the one below is their last show….to put it in perspective the cops couldnt take it down because of the overwhelming amount of people that went there but I think they were getting paid off by the liquor store. like 14 bands played that show and by 4am we took the floor, pretty fucked up on everything, was wild, my drums still have gunk from that nite on them. i think that now, after that party the only thing that could live there are cocaine addicted zombies waiting to appear on tv court show.
TDOA: What are you singing about? Do lyrics play a particular importance to you or do you think bands in general have begun to focus on the “mood” of a song without feeling a compulsion to tell a story?
RL we sing about what is real in life, bikes, free grip, 24hr convenience stores, potlucks, beers. we tell a story but we are not paying attention to it, so we can change it and leave you feeling cheated, like “did i hear that?”"did they really said that?”"was that in spanish?”"are they gay for me?”.
TDOA: Can you guys explain how you designed the album cover? The video for it looks intriguing…
R: the cover was designed by scott nadeau and a machine i cant remember the name of but its on the credits of the record. we make music only and our intellects, our tiny little brains couldn’t put together such an awesome piece of art like that. thank you scott!
TDOA: Considering how much time and effort went into the artwork for the album, why no web presence? Do you feel that bands give too much access these days? Do you think it’s important for a band to maintain its mystique?
R: we have plenty of web presence, just google Running, get some lotion and candles and go to town.
mystique is for people with haircuts and eyeliner, we just want you to go online, waste your time looking for us and then tell everyone how the shitty Running page on Tripod gave me spyware.
TDOA: What’s on the horizon? New tour? New record?
R: we want to travel again, soon, the east coast and west coast and some selected places where people are forward thinking, but if you insist we can visit texas. we will record next week, and that will turn into a 7″ for whoever we can suck into release it.
For more information about the band….. good luck.
You purchase they’re album via Permanent Records in Chicago.