Grilling with Fight AMP

Grilling with Fight AMP

By Adam Holtzapfel & Jared Elek

ManBQue Fight Amp Interview ColumbusThis week we sit down with Mike McGinnis (guitar and vocals) and Jon DeHart (bass and vocals) of Fight AMP before their show at Ace of Cups with Lo-Pan and KEN Mode. They are currently touring in support of their new album Constantly Off that came out earlier this month. We talk everything from music to food while slaying some pork belly pastrami tacos with sriracha slaw.

MBQ- Being around for several years, do you still feel that noise rock is one of the last underground scenes?

MM – It’s making a comeback, that’s for sure. I think first of all that means something different then it used to. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the last underground scenes, it’s coming more aboard with bands like Metz, stuff like that. You see AmRep (Amphetamine Reptile) doing records again. It’s one of the sub genres of heavy music that’s still maintains a regional identity. I think a lot of things that have come and gone kind of sound the same. They end up morphing into this cohesive sound. I think noise rock is a thing where if you’re a band from the Northeast and you call yourself a noise rock it’s not necessarily the same thing as being from the Northwest and calling yourself a noise rock band, from the Midwest or Texas or Canada like KEN Mode. We’re from Philly and we have this new awesome noise rock scene that’s come up. It’s sludge driven, not so much the garagey side of noise rock like the Midwest stuff. It’s heavy and is really inspired by the east coast bands we grew up on.

JE- It’s kind of a bit of everything, you’re right with other genres having a cohesive sound.

MM-I think it’s awesome because I’ve always been a fan of regional identity within music scenes and I feel right now noise rock has regional identity.

AH- Yeah like you can tell a difference with Whores. being from Atlanta and Rabbits being from Portland.

MM— Exactly, that’s such a rad thing where some other sub genres might be really similar no matter where you’re from. I’m not saying these bands aren’t similar in some ways, we have many of the same influences, but there’s a definite regional identity. I’m a big fan of that, it’s very cool.

JE- That’s the cool divide that people can associate.

MM- I think that being from the North East a lost of the identity of noise rock is sludgey, but it’s punk driven. Some of the other parts of the country and world a noise rock band, it’s all really punk, but it might have a slightly different attitude itself.

MBQ- How did the dual record release tour come about?

MM-They’re old buddies of ours. We toured North America a couple years ago and our paths crossed. It’s just a coincidence we finished writing records at the same time and got on the same cycle. It’s like hey be a good way to feed off each other.

MBQ- With Gene Simmons saying rock is dead, how do you see your sales stack up against your vinyl, cd stuff and the digital stuff?

MM- Rock is not dead; the business is bombing that’s for sure. Gene Simmons is a dinosaur. When you’re a dinosaur you can say rock is dead.

JE- Because your rock is dead.

MM- Don’t get me wrong I like some Kiss songs. It’s like you say it’s the end of the world as we know it. Doesn’t mean the world is over. Yeah it’s evolved and it’s different. As far as the business, it’s rapidly changing. It’s a matter of not being afraid to adapt and understand how thing are now aren’t how they were one year ago, ten years ago. We’ve been dabbling in it long enough to know that if you are afraid to adapt and stick to you r guns and say things like rock is dead, then really you’re dead. If you don’t want to adapt it’s a losing battle.

Our record just came out. I know that it’s doing well. It’s just a thing where I know the big push for us is vinyl, but digital is a huge part of it. I think a big thing is allowing people access to it for cheap and not pretending pirating doesn’t exist, because it does. And honestly I don’t think it’s a big deal if people want to download our record for free I say do it and that’s that. The people that support us they know if they want to buy the record that’s cool and if not, you’re listening to us that’s cool too. As far as sales clearly the whole thing has jumped a little bit, it just what it is.

AH- With bandcamp do you feel that benefits the bands more than the label?

MM— I’m a huge fan of bandcamp and it’s done us really well. If you do things right you’re working with your label and making sure it comes full circle so you and the label are both benefiting off of the release. Bandcamp and all of the other avenues depending on who’s in control whether it’s you or the label I think it’s a matter of balancing all of it. Bandcamp is huge, it’s an easy way for bands to have direct control of certain aspects. I think it’s the wave of the future. More people are streaming music now, I do it. I think it’s awesome more things are accessible. I think either embrace it or there’s no other option. You can’t fight technology.

ManBQue Fight Amp Interview ColumbusMBQ- On tour have you found a favorite craft beer or is there something you usually stick to like PBR?

MM- We like craft beer. I work at a bar. We like to treat ourselves to craft beer, but on tour it’s not always conducive. Really the PBR is easy to drink before playing a set. When you get home it’s nice to have a six pack of a good craft beer. We are cheap beer drinkers when it comes to being on tour. It goes down like water and I kinda like that. I know that’s a negative to some people.

JE- Not really, if you find a craft beer you like that’s great. The bottom line is when I’m going out I’m not trying to slug down $9 beer.

MM- Oh hell no, what’s your favorite craft beer right now Jon?

JD- My go to is Victory’s HopDevil. Flying Fish by us is good.

MM- Staropramen they have on tap here, I wouldn’t call a craft beer, but it’s a Czech pilsner. I like that beer a lot it’s real simple.

MBQ- What’s your go to shop back home for some vinyl?

MM- Like our favorite record store? I would have to say in Philly Long in the Tooth is way up there, Sit & Spin is way up there, there’s a cool shop called Creep records. What’s the new spot in south Jersey?

JD-Sky Valley.

MM- Sky Valley is really cool. Most of the shops are in Philly so when something opens in Jersey it’s pretty rad. It’s kind of a different market. I’d say those are some of my favorites. Beautiful World Syndicate is cool. They have a lot of really good used vinyl come through weekly. We have a lot of good records stores in Philly. I’d say Long in the Tooth is the closest to us. We did a Record Store Day show there. The owner has turned me on to a lot of good records.

MBQ- What are some of your favorite spots to eat at or what do you cook when you’re back home?

MM- I cook a lot at home. My girlfriend and I cook a lot of Mexican food. We do a lot of pork in the slow cooker, a lot of chicken, which is simple. We’ll make burritos and tacos out of it. A lot of simple stuff like really good cuts of steak. We eat a lot of vegetarian food too. We eat meat, but I’m also a fan of vegetarian food depending on how it’s seasoned.

One of the best sandwich shops in the city is Paesano’s. If you’re ever in Philly I highly recommend it. It’s a few blocks away from me on Girard. The brisket sandwich is out of this world, they put a fried egg on it. It’s incredible. They have a sandwich called the Arista, it’s slow cooked suckling pig. It’s like a roasted Italian pork sandwich, badass. It’s the best sandwiches in Philly.

MBQ- Last but not least, who would win in a fist fight, Frankenstein’s monster or Clint Eastwood? We’re talking Outlaw Josey Wales Clint, not Gran Torino Clint.

MM- Definitely Frankenstein’s monster.

JE- Really? I feel like he’s a monster and it’s all that.

MM- It’s not just a monster. He’s misanthropic and Clint Eastwood is not. I say the misanthropic outcast always defeats Clint Eastwood.

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