Occult Detective Club may have started as the solo side-project of Secret Bangs' Alexander Anguiano, but once Secret Bangs officially dissolved and Anguiano devoted more time and energy to crafting his catchy garage-punk songs, it quickly became apparent that this new project was going to eclipse his previous act.
Especially when Anguiano and his Occult Detective Club started playing stages and basements in Denton backed by members of Stymie, ANS, Koji Kondo and, yeah, the Secret Bangs. Then the band's debut full-length, Tortures, found release on Red Lounge Records in 2010. And it was good. Very good.
More recently, with Anguiano providing lead vocals and guitars, Andrew Messer on guitars, Tyler Shults on bass and Chris Reeves on drums, Occult Detective Club's recent batch of songs have been garnering comparisons to acts such as The Jam, Ramones, Clash, Sham 69 and Hex Dispensers. It's worth noting that Austin's Hex Dispensers covered Occult Detective Club's "I'm A Ghost" for the B-side of a recent single.
And, right now, Occult Detective Club's gearing up for a six-week tour promoting the February 15 release of Crimes on Alive Naturalsound Records (making Occult Detective Club label-chums with the likes of The Black Keys, SSM, The Nerves, Mondo Drag, The Bloody Hollies, White Noise Sound and Two Gallants, to name a few).
We chatted with Anguiano by phone a few weeks back, and then followed up this week via a certain social network. Anguiano and Co. were kind enough to send along "C'mon Levi" -- the band's lead single of Crimes - as a free download for our readers.
Grab the song, and read our Q&A in full after the jump.
Bonus MP3: Occult Detective Club -- "C'mon Levi"
We're going out for just about six weeks. It's the longest I've ever been on the road, but a couple of the other guys, Andy and Chris specifically, have been out for comparable lengths of time with Stymie and A.N.S.
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Are there any stops that you're really looking forward to?
We're playing with a lot of great bands, so picking a couple shows is hard, but personally I'm really looking forward to playing with Dan Sartain at the Windian Showcase in DC. Also, getting to play a set for WFMU radio is pretty exciting and we're all really looking forward to that.
And your February 25 record release show in Denton will double as the kick-off show for the Crimes 2011 Tour'?
Yeah, the show at Rubber Gloves with Spasm 151 is both a record release and a tour kickoff for us. Should be a lot of fun playing with those guys.
Crimes will be released in less than two weeks, which follows up Tortures your last full-length, right? What's with the dark or, well, tortured, Dante's Inferno-esque album titles? Not to mention Crimes' gruesome-ish cover art...
Ha! I can assure you that The Inferno had almost no influence over either album. We were kicking around a few names for the second LP -- some were kind of long and pretentious, some were shorter and more to the point. We ended up going with a shorter and more to the point title. It wasn't until later that we realized we'd established a sort of motif. We'll call the next one Reparations and then split up after announcing in a press release the completion of our trilogy. I'm being sarcastic by the way.
I know, based on your Facebook wall posts, that you seem to stay pretty current on the news of the day. So, I'm wondering if -- or how -- the current political climate here and abroad has influenced your songwriting?
Like most people, I'm pretty frustrated. I mean, we're a nation fighting a shooting war on two fronts with a Nobel Peace Prize-winning president. Some of the rhetoric coming from the right is so nationalistic and xenophobic, it borders on proto-fascist. The establishment left, which includes the current administration, is a pathetic and vulgar embarrassment to anyone who takes their progressive politics seriously. All across this country, people are desperate and hurting -- I'd feel like I was letting myself down to a certain extent if some of that didn't come through in our music.