A Sit Down With Shrug
Welcome to what was supposed to have been volume one! In my typical fashion, though, I got way ahead of myself when I was drafting, and the piece was much longer, generally dissatisfying, and close to incomprehensible. So, instead, I bring you a second installment! Cue the confetti. If you’ve not read the first volume and are interested in some background information and long-winded sappiness, you can find it here! In the meantime, I bring you a culmination of interviews, resources, and qualitative data that would make Paul Farmer weep. Enjoy :-)
(IMG DESCRIPTION: the crowd at RedLine waits for the next band, Hill Blocks View, to take the stage. Image belongs to Scott Quitadamo of @StudioCliq)
Ah, Shrug. I don’t know that I’ve actually ever addressed them as anything but “ShrugTheHomie” but trying new things is rad. A full-hearted performer, loyal friend, and proud owner of a legendary head tattoo (done by @cs_tattoo) advertising their band, Sanity Syndrome, Shrug is a gift that keeps on giving. I had the honor of asking them a few questions regarding their amber-preserved memories, favorite furious songs, and role models, and they responded with the kind of candor and immediacy that makes me so grateful to be part of this scene. That interview is recorded below. Shrug and Doll (bassist, friend, and partner in crime) are also either terminally sentimental like me, or (more likely) ruthlessly dedicated, and have decided to chronicle the events of the Atlanta Scene! You can catch up on all things ATL on their Instagram page, Sanity Killer! Read ‘em and weep. (Edited for length and clarity)
Question: What was the first show you went to that made you decide "I need to do that!"
Answer: What made me decide “this is me” was stuff before shows (I didn’t start going till I was 17), but it was more so playing Guitar Hero and seeing musicians and punks in movies and thinking “that’s what I want." I’ve been wanting to be a musician for most of my life.
Q: What was the first punk/grind/hardcore song you heard?
A: It’s hard to say what the first song of this stuff I’ve heard was, but I know the ones that stuck. I remember playing GTA5 in middle school so much and in high school I saw that a friend of mine listened to punk. I knew some of the songs from GTA (subliminal by suicidal tendencies being the main one to strike my interest) and I started diving into punk and grunge a lot. With grind one of my friends randomly showed me a song by Torso F*ck as a joke and I just slowly went back to it and liked it over time (now it’s probably my favorite grind song).
Q: What would you say is your most memorable show?
A: My most memorable show probably has to be seeing Alex Story (of Cancerslug and Doyle) play an acoustic show in a coffee shop in his hometown. It was “$7 if you have it” which I really loved and was glad I could support them. It was just such a good environment with so many diehard fans just hanging out. It was cool to talk to him and Cassie Baher. Their set was so intimate, they were just having a good time playing their songs and yelling at the crowd.”
(IMG DESCRIPTION: Shrug screams down the mic at RedLine, shortly after having hung from the rafters by their knees. Image belongs to Scott Quitadamo of @StudioCliq)
Q: You know I have to ask- what’s your craziest show story?
A: For craziest imma give you a few answers, haha. I broke my collarbone in Splooge’s pit in August so that’s gotta be up there. I’ve been branded on stage and bit a fake d*ck off on stage and had blood squirting everywhere!! Sometimes we bring a lot of confederate flags that we obtained and burn them at our shows.
Q: What keeps you going, even though the scene can fall to pieces sometimes?
A: I guess what keeps me going with this is just that I know it’s what I want to do and dedicate my life to! I knew I always wanted to become a musician and when I made this band, I knew it was right when we first played a song together. That was four years ago. I’ve went through a lot of different members before meeting my lovely bandmates I have now and being able to actually rehearse and play. So, it took around 3.5 years for me to get the band off the ground and I kept going because I know it’s what I want out of my life, I’ll never have it if I don’t push for it.
Q: What would you say is the biggest difference between being an audience member and being a performer?
A: The difference between being an audience member and a performer for me isn't too big but it’s definitely there. I always stay for the whole show so I’m always also an audience member at our shows. It’s crazy that when I meet people that I’m not meeting as someone who was just hanging out at a local show, I’m meeting them as the guy who was just acting like a fool onstage. It’s hard to remember that a lot of people think of the band when they think of me.
Q: Who would you say is your role model, if you have one?
A: ...role model is probably Alex Story of Cancerslug because he’s stayed broke on and off over the years but is the hardest working most genuine musician I’ve heard of! Like he toured with Doyle, then did a Cancerslug tour, then another Doyle tour right after. A lot of their albums sound so good and were recorded in wherever they were able to practice at. His vocals on Doyle’s first album were done in the default mic on his laptop. Seeing him making the dream come true with whatever he has, however he can, really makes me want to put forth the same effort.
(IMG DESCRIPTION: typical punk show pit shenanigans. Image belongs to Scott Quitadamo of @StudioCliq)
Thank you, Shrug!!! You da best. That’ll do it for me with this volume, folks. But if you’d like to get even more up close and personal, check out Whiplash: Skeletons In The Closet, Sunday 2/26 from 4-6, right here on this very website, because we’ll be interviewing none other than Scum, of Splooge legend. Free up an hour or so, it’ll be a wild ride.
Until next time, friends and strangers!
- DJ Lisa Frankenstein
questions, comments, concerns? wanna trade show stories? hit me up- @cz.erniawsky on insta !