Straight outta Nashville, Tennessee, Bullets To Broadway are Kevin (vocals), Heather (bass/vocals), Geis (guitar/vocals), Gui (guitar) and Matt (drums). They’ve just released an awesome debut EP, ‘Drink Positive’, on Household Name Records; eight tracks of raw yet melodic punk rock with some great harmonies, it’s the ideal antidote to all the saccharine ‘pop-punk’ that’s currently clogging up the airwaves.
They’re a hard-touring bunch; having supported Less Than Jake on their recent UK tour, they then visited Europe, before coming back to our shores for a lengthy headline tour. Alex Gosman caught up with Matt for a chat before a storming show at London’s Camden Underworld.
So, how are you all? You’ve been on the road for a hell of a long time!
Yeah, we arrived in the UK on March 28th, and it’s May 11th today! But everything’s going well, we’re a little burnt-out, but not too bad…we’re gonna finish up these last few dates, then go home and rest for a couple of weeks before doing it all over again in the US!
How did the LTJ tour go? You guys are old friends aren’t you?
Yeah, we’ve been friends with them since they took Teen Idols [Kevin, Heather and Matt’s previous band] out on tour a long time ago, we really hit it off with them then…but this time around, with this band, it’s been going way better for us than it did with Teen Idols. The crowds took to us a lot better, and we’ve been getting a lot of their [Less Than Jake’s] fans coming to our shows…which is cool, but kinda weird too, because a lot of them are only about 14 years old, and they make me feel really old!
I hear you all too well! So can you give a brief history of the band for those who are unfamiliar with you?
Sure…basically, Teen Idols broke up in mid-2003 – our guitarist freaked out in the middle of a tour of California, and left, so that was the end of that. So on the drive home, Heather, Kevin and I figured we’d start something new, but it took a year and a half for us to actually want to do anything, we needed to take a break for a while first…then Kevin called and said he had some songs, so we started sending ideas back and forth, just for fun at first. We realised we needed a guitar player, and we knew Geis from Rehasher [LTJ bassist Roger’s side project], so we gave him a call to see if he wanted to do it – at this point, we hadn’t even planned to tour or anything, it was all just for fun.
So we recorded some demos at my house in Nashville, four tracks, and I decided that as we’re friends with Fat Mike [of NOFX fame], it would be worth sending him a copy…and a week later, he called me and asked if we wanted to play with NOFX! And at this point, we hadn’t even played any of our own shows yet. So we decided we needed an extra guitarist, got Gui [also of Rehasher] on board, played about three shows out in California…our third show ever was with NOFX, and then our fourth was with Bad Religion! So that’s how it all started – and June of this year will be our one-year anniversary as a band.
So it’s all happened pretty fast, although the work we did and people we met whilst we were in Teen Idols have definitely helped.
Your EP, ‘Drink Positive’ – great title, by the way!
Thanks, it was thought of in a bar, actually!
It was released on Household Name Records here in the UK, how did you discover them?
It was when Teen Idols were touring the UK with Less Than Jake [in May 2003], someone from the label came and gave us all these records and All Ages Records t-shirts – and that was because we’d been wanting to do a headline tour of the UK with Captain Everything, who are on Household Name.
Of course, that never happened, but it meant that we at least knew the label…so when we were looking for an overseas label to release ‘Drink Positive’ I emailed Lil [co-owner of HHN Records]. He was interested, so I sent him the songs, he said he really liked them and would be interested in releasing the EP, so yeah, he agreed to do it – and then about a week and a half later, we got the Less Than Jake tour! I’m so glad it’s worked out this way, because Household Name are really cool guys – everyone’s really honest and straightforward with you, and they’ve been doing a really good job with the EP.
The last track is called ‘Our Club, Our Home, Our Kelly’ – do you have a secret love of R n’ B that you’d like to confess to?
[Laughs] Well, I’ve never been an R. Kelly fan, but he did that ‘urban opera’ thing, called ‘Trapped In The Closet’ and Geis discovered that when it came out, and he was telling us about it. We were so curious that we bought the CD, and it came with a DVD of the first parts of the opera – and we watched that thing so much that we know all the words to the songs! Now it’s all come out on DVD, and there’s gonna be 22 parts to it, it’s crazy. So that kinda explains the song title, we did it as a joke, to see if anyone would get it – but the DVD was so entertaining, it made no sense at all, that was the best thing about it!
What are your plans for the near future, after this UK tour has finished?
Well, after we’ve done the last three shows here, we’re gonna go home and relax for about three weeks, before heading off on a US tour which finishes in late July. Then we’re gonna take the next couple of months to write an album, and it looks like we’re gonna try and make it back to the UK around October. So yeah, we will return – but that’s about as far ahead as we’ve planned, for now!