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Here Holy Spain remembers the Galaxy Club, among other first shows

With plans for a follow-up to this year's acclaimed Division, 2012 looks good for pop-punk trio Here Holy Spain. To tide you over, they have a song on this year's Idol Christmas compilation called "God-Damn This Christmas."

As the band wraps up the year, all three recently shared with us their first show experiences. Late '90s punk fans, rejoice. Lots of fond memories about the late Galaxy Club are shared, along with their own memories of playing shows.

What was the first show you went to? Were you with your parents? Scott Brayfield: I remember my first show. I think I was about eight or nine and it was Blondie. And yes, I was totally with my parents. Probably one of the best shows I've ever seen. It was at Six Flags. Great show. It was packed. Wes Todd Solem: I can't remember if it was '97 or '98, but it was Bobgoblin. It was Edgefest. They were the first band of the day. All I had known about them was the song that they had on the radio. I was a wee lad at this point. I just kind of ran down to the stage and watched them play. I thought Hop [Litzwire] was one of the best frontmen I'd ever seen. He'd be singing, and then at the end of the song, he'd fall over sideways. I thought it was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen. Everybody had their racer outfits on, matching uniforms. There were a lot of bands that day, but for me that day was Bobgoblin and Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Bosstones played later and they were fucking awesome. To this day, one of my favorite shows I've ever seen. I wasn't with my parents, but I was with my friend's parents. Erica Guagliardi: My uncle got free tickets for me, my cousin, him and my dad. It was Pearl Jam, Cheap Trick, OK Go, Hayden. I don't think I was a teenager yet and I didn't like any of those bands and I still really don't, but it was still a great time. I had been begging to go to concerts for a while at that point.

What was the first show you paid to see? Scott: It was maybe '97/'98 and it was Fishbone at Galaxy Club. It was really anticipated. They still had a lot of hype around them. They were one of my favorite bands. Being in a club like that was mind-blowing for me. I would gladly pay the $15 to see it again. Wes: I don't mean to gank your venue, but in general, I used to save and beg for money in order to go see the random punk bands that came through Galaxy Club. I remember seeing AFI, U.S. Bombs, Union 13, Rise Against.

Scott, as a sidenote, the first time I ever saw you play with Slowride was at Galaxy Club, opening for Strung Out. Scott: When Galaxy Club had closed, I was extremely bummed out. I had a lot of fond memories of great shows that I had went to and played there. I played a lot of great shows there, like Voodoo Glow Skulls, Ween, the list goes way on. They never charged you an arm and a leg to get in there either. Wes: What year did you play with Voodoo Glow Skulls? Because I went to see them at Galaxy Club. Scott: It wasn't Slowride at that time. It was that ska band I was playing with, Pen15. We did a lot of shows with other bands. I did the Ween show, Less Than Jake, two Voodoo Glow Skulls shows. And then with that Slowride show, we played there a couple of times. Those were always awesome shows to play. I remember the first show we ever played, I still had long hair and it was a Halloween show. We thought no one in the world was going to show up to this thing and we had just started it out. Dan was still playing on his Ronnie Dawson gear. He had his Gretsch hollow body, Fender 4x10 amp. Rob [Marchant] still had the Ampeg. We were all still trying to figure out just what exactly we were doing and I'll be damned if that night was not packed. So it was very awkward and weird. Wes:Erica, what was the first show you paid for? Erica: Oh God, it was The Warehouse in Toronto, which I think is now called the Kool Haus. It was NOFX and Mad Caddies. Wes: Nice! Erica: It was the first show I saved for. It was not like it was expensive. I was 13 at the time. Phenomenal performances by all. That got me hooked.

What was the first show that made a major impression on you? Wes:There's a couple of things that made a major impact. One of the things was when I saw Hot Water Music open for Bad Religion at Bronco Bowl. That was the first time I had seen them. A couple of my friends told me they sucked. I go and see the show and I was completely floored. From that point on, I was hooked. I bought all their shit and went and saw them any time they were in town. I also really started to get into local shows and I'd go to see [DARYL] all the time. Dylan [Silvers] was one of my favorite frontmen to watch. He was so captivating, super-cool, and unpredictable.

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Another sidenote: I also didn't think very highly of Hot Water Music, but then I saw them open for Sick of It All and AFI at the Galaxy Club and that changed my perspective on them. And I think I saw [DARYL] 30-40 times back in the day. So Wes, we were in the same room plenty of times. Wes:That's great to hear. To this day, I don't think there's a recording that captures how great they were live. I hate to say, it sounds really cliché, but they had this magic about them. You listen to their recordings and it was very synthesizer pop rock, but you'd see them live and it was a raw, kick-you-in-the-face rock band. I love them. Scott: I would definitely have to say it was one of the first Edgefests that I caught. I was a senior. I'm not really sure which Edgefest it was. I might have been 12. There was a ton of great bands. I remember The Appleseed Cast played. First time I'd ever seen Rev. Horton Heat play live. The last two bands of the night were Tripping Daisy and Course of Empire and I think that what really kicked things into gear. You had this band who really has it all together and they sound amazing. Come on, they have two drummers! Watching Mike Graff play and the way the band came together, that's what did it in for me. From then on, that chartered a huge path for me. Erica: Probably the first time I saw The Misfits play. It was also at the Warehouse. Same type of thing. I wasn't the theatrics, it was the energy of it. It's hard to explain. I had listened to them for a long time but I hadn't really seen them. I saw them and it floored me.

So far, what's the worst show you've seen? Wes: I've been on tour with bands that rhyme with Hinder and Breaking Benjamin and they were just as awesome as you would think they are live. It was, "Alright, they're going up on stage. I'm going to take break outside." Erica: I don't have an answer for that one. I don't know. Wes: It's hard to think about. Not to take the cop-out part. I really do shut that shit out of my head because it's depressing. Scott: It was The Hunger at Galaxy Club. We walked in and, believe or not, other than the bartender and the door guy, we were the only four people there. And they had the whole stage full of everything, all these road cases, this rack with all these sequencers and they're putting on this huge barrage and there's only the four of us in this whole club.

What do you remember about the first Here Holy Spain show? Wes: Let's do this in two sections: pre-Scott and the first with Scott. Our first show, wasn't it at Lola's? Erica: It was our unofficial show. We didn't tell anyone about it. Wes: I remember playing and it was awkward. I mean, it wasn't bad. I remember having the feeling, "Oh, we're not quite ready." One of the songs we had, I was screaming the entire time and it didn't fit. Another song was an instrumental. I don't know, it didn't make sense yet. But if we hadn't have done it, we probably wouldn't have realized that. The first show with Scott, was the Double Wide, right? Scott: I think it was the Double Wide. The real first was cancelled unfortunately, but then that was the real, real one. I don't remember who we played with. Wes: It was some benefit show, so we stuck out like a sore thumb.

Here Holy Spain plays Renfield's Corner on Wednesday, December 21.

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