Published Jun 03, 2010It's always reassuring to know that Richmond, VA's Strike Anywhere are out there, playing their punk rock, defying the system, generally doing the same thing they've been doing for four albums and 11 years. Vocalist Thomas Barnett realizes the band play a very specific type of music, but feels they opened it up on their latest album, Iron Front, which they will be touring across Canada in support of a North American tour.
"We know we play a genre, but we love it," Barnett tells Exclaim! in a recent interview. "It's what we want to hear. It's what it sounds like in our heads. Maybe there's something a little more contemplative about Iron Front, even a little more lost feeling. Maybe there's a sense of open-endedness, like the back end of the record lifts you up into something and doesn't give you any easy answer."
The disc is the band's first for indie Bridge Nine Records, for whom Strike Anywhere left punk rock biggie Fat Wreck Chords. It might have seemed like a strange move to some, but the singer insists Bridge Nine is more of a natural fit for the band.
"Fat was really generous to us, from a business standpoint and from a friendship standpoint," says Barnett. "They're nothing but amazing people. But there was a slight disconnect between the roots of East coast hardcore punk and West coast California punk. Particularly the Fat/Epitaph world is a little bloated with larger-than-life personalities, and it showcases a strange, weird part of punk. We just don't relate to it. With Bridge Nine, there's more of a sense of accessibility and celebration of extraordinary art from ordinary people."
And Strike Anywhere's debut for the label certainly shows a band who love the basics of punk rock: the fast beats, the politics and the strict adherence to keeping things short (it's another half-hour album for these guys). And it sounds as if another new album could come sooner than expected.
"We have a bunch of other songs that were half-demoed, sonic footnotes that are maybe, possibly another full album's worth of material right there at our fingertips waiting to be elaborated on and finished," reveals Barnett. "But we don't have any plans to start recording or get back to writing for a while because there's a lot of touring to do."
For now, Barnett and crew have their sights set on U.S. and Canadian touring, which also includes the punk rock of Lowtalker, as well as hardcore heroes Bane and Cali hardcore screamers Touche Amore. Full dates, which for the purposes of full disclosure are being presented by Exclaim!, are below.
6/4 Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
6/5 Banff, AB - Wild Bills
6/6 Edmonton, AB - Avenue
6/7 Calgary, AB - The Republik
6/8 Saskatoon, SK - Walkers
6/9 Winnipeg, ON - The Royal Albert
6/11 Timmins, ON - Victory Tavern
6/12 London, ON - Call the Office
6/13 Guelph, ON - Club Vinyl
6/14 Toronto, ON - Wrong Bar
6/15 Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
6/16 Quebec City, QC - Le Cercle
6/18 Albany, NY - Valentines
6/19 Providence, RI - Club Hell
6/20 Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory