Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So, tell us about this punk thing....

When you start your musical life as a punk, it becomes an inseparable part of your personal, political, and social identity until the day you die. From those arduous hair-dying days as an underage kid getting snuck into bars to play punk shows with grown-ass men much older than me, the classic punk of The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Stooges, The New York Dolls, The Clash, Television, Richard Hell and The Voidoids, all rooted in an experimental Andy Warhol-inspired art project known as The Velvet Underground (and beautifully documented in the oral history Please Kill Me) shaped me in ways that life's traditional influencers did not. It was inevitable that something punk would come out again.

Of course, when side projects emerge, so do questions about the root band. Don't worry, Paint is fine. After a year-and-a-half of uncertainty and transience, Paint has actually become the most fully functional, healthy, and productive that it's been in a long time. In fact, I would probably say that Pantifesto has emerged because Paint has become so vibrant. I'm inspired to just be a musician and be creative again.

Pantifesto had its nucleus during a particularly grueling tour, where I came up with an idea for a screenplay/cult graphic novel about a band -- a punk band -- who runs into a comedy/horror adventure on the road. Partly inspired by the realities of touring life, and partly by the slapstick comedy that is (perhaps surprisingly) a big part of who I am. Naturally, the band in the film-to-be needed a soundtrack. So it was the perfect excuse to get a punk project going.

The names of the Pantifesto members are classically formuliac as most of our punk forefathers' personas were: each band member's first name is taken from the original Ramones lineup, and their last names derive from different styles of women's underwear. Part of this is rooted in the glam end of punk, but also a reflection of the rather unGLAMourous jobs that surely every musician has had to hold down while pursuing their passion. In my case, stock clerk at a women's underwear store (amongst many others).

Nothing was really spent on the Pantifesto record. The production is crap. The musicianship is crap. But that was clearly an aesthetic choice. So, in that mindset, it's being given away for free (or by kind donation if one is so inclined)... Get it here: http://pantifesto.bandcamp.com/

Much love.