Forming in Brooklyn, New York, four-piece punk band The So So Glos have been a highly respected band in this scene of music. While allowing all their shows to be available for all age groups, the band have successfully maintained their status of making music that is liberating and thought-provoking, complimenting their very distinct and raucous musicianship existing in their material. The band took the time to answer a few questions for us on their journey as a band, the creative process of their fifth record Kamikaze and what has remained constant in the community of punk.
So The So So Glos have had quite a journey for almost a decade now, cementing a name in the punk community. How do you feel about your achievements in the last decade?
I think it’s important to keep moving forward and spend as little time possible looking back on “achievements.” I am proud of most of the records and songs that we’ve put out into the world. We’ve got quite a few commercial flop / cult classics under our belt at this point and we’ve been blessed to travel the world so many times over.
Two weeks ago you released your fifth record Kamikaze. Compared to your previous material, what did you guys do differently this time round?
I feel like this record is the next episode in the saga. Some of the songs are darker and heavier; some are lighter and more sparse. At the time I felt like it was the last record.
What inspired the title of the record?
Kamikaze, a divine wind. It draws inspiration from many different places. It’s the story of a society and character on a self-destructive and sometimes suicidal path. It may seem dark to say, but I do believe that in discussing darkness there is light. If you can talk about pessimism and try to identify it, try to adjust it, you may just be an optimist at heart. As Jeffrey Lewis once said, “It’s the ones who’ve cracked that the light shines through”
This record is fun – you can definitely hear a bit of Ramones and The Clash in your music. With punk being such a loud genre, it’s well respected in a sense where musicians can freely express themselves, basically writing songs on issues around the world. Over the years, what would you say have been one of the highlights of your career?
We’ve had the opportunity to meet, play and work with so many people and heroes who’ve inspired us along the way (Jesse Michaels, John Reis, Conor Oberst, Kathleen Hanna, etc). It feels right to participate in a conversation that’s been going on long before us and will exist long after we’re gone.
It’s encouraging that you guys have a DIY approach to the band. How did this happen and what was the initial motivation behind it?
If no one is doing it for you, Do IT Yourself. If someone is doing it and you think it can be done better, re – invent it.
I love the fact that you guys strive to make all shows all-ages. In light of this, what would you say has been the most rewarding part of making shows available to pretty much everyone?
Rock N Roll is for everyone, and it especially belongs to the youth. We go for the energy. The most rewarding part is when the energy comes back to us.
The songs that you guys write are pretty honest and real. How do you feel knowing that your music has this power of speaking the truth to the kids of today?
Success is when a message gets through, it’s got nothing to do with how many records are sold or how much money is made. When people find truth, power, and inspiration in our music, I feel like we’ve done our job.
Over the years of being part of the punk community, what would you say has remained constant?
The world has remained a crazy place where up is down and right can be wrong. There’s a constant escape from it all on the dancefloor. There’s a feeling of freedom and justice at a rock n roll show. – Aleks Levi Zaru
Kamikaze is available now via Ten To Two Records