Yo what up, you guys. It’s good to be back. Got a pretty good episode to kick things off, I’d say. When I heard my PA friends, Izzy and Krystyna, were coming through MPLS roadie-ing for the 80HD tour, I knew we had to make something happen. So after a complete and total ripper of a show in the backyard of the Seward Cafe a weeks back, Mike, Hogan, Sasha, and Ivy let me ask them a few questions. Then, they gave me and my one shoe and my busted head a ride home in the van. These guys are all real ones in every sense — great musicians and better people. Below is a transcript of our convo. You can also listen to the attached recording of the full show (unedited because my computer hates me), interview starts at around 7:00ish. I play the entire 80HD catalogue (8 songs in as many minutes), some of their other projects, and then a bunch of bands I saw in Philly this summer. Mostly hardcore. Then a few Loretta Lynn songs to close us out. RIP. Another true real one. Oh, and we never did find that shoe, so if you see anyone in the Twin Cities wearing just a left women’s size 7 green New Balance sneaker, you know what to do.
[Everyone makes pained noises while sitting down]
Mike: Can I start the interview by asking you a question?
C.C.: Yeah, absolutely.
Mike: What does C.C. stand for?
C.C.: Carmen Celia.
Mike: Ok, because I have decided if I ever have a child I’m going to name them C.C. and it’s going to be short for Cheesecake.
C.C.: Oh that’s great… Maybe I’ll change my name to Cheesecake –
Mike: No! This is like the Seinfeld where George tells the couple that Seven is a good baby name and then they take it. You can’t have Cheesecake, it’s going to be for my child. [All laugh]
C.C.: All right, should we start with name, pronouns, and instrument?
Sasha: That’s a great way to start.
Hogan: Hogan, he/him, singer
Sasha: Sasha, she, drums. Sasha, she drums!
Mike: She does drum! Mike, he/him, I play guitar.
Ivy: Ivy, she, for this tour I play bass.
C.C.: Was Cher Strauberry ever in this band or was I just totally wrong about that?
Sasha: Yeah! She was unable to come on this tour.
C.C.: Totally fair, I get it. Are you guys all from New York then?
Sasha: Actually I don’t think any of us are from New York.
Mike: The band is from New York. We all met in New York and all started playing music in New York.
Sasha: I think we’ve all lived in New York for varying amounts of time.
C.C.: When you guys started the band did you have any ideas of what you wanted it to sound or be like?
Mike: No, actually. Sasha and I have been friends for a while and real early in the pandemic we were checking in with each other, being like “What’s up, how are you? Let’s play music together!” Sasha and I started jamming, and then I actually met Cher because I am a mover and I moved Cher from one apartment to right around the corner from my apartment and we started hanging out. Me and Sasha started jamming with Cher. Then when it came time to find a singer we were like, “Oh, who should sing?” Sasha was like, “What about that kid at shows who’s a really elegant mosher?”
Sasha: Hogan has always had a really impeccable dance style. Just kind of like exuded a positive energy. I will amend your answer, because I think the one thing that I wanted to do was like… this is going to be a hardcore band but I wanted it to be very music-centric. Less concerned with aesthetics and more just being really hard, fast, and fun but not while compromising on any of the other things. So not saying “Oh, we’re doing a this kind of band, oh we’re doing a d-beat band…”
C.C.: A lot of it came from jamming?
Sasha: Yeah, and then Hogan ended up being the most perfect pick because he’s a wonderful person and he does the… what did you call it?
Mike: Big monster, little monster.
Sasha: The perfect extreme noise big monster, little monster style vocals.
C.C.: I feel like I don’t even need to ask what that is.
Sasha: Yeah, you know.
Mike: You know how they say inside you are two wolves? Inside Hogan there are two monsters of varying sizes.
C.C.: It’s like one of the Russian dolls where you take it apart. So do you write the lyrics, Hogan?
C.C.: It seems like with the song “80HD” the band name is more than just a band name.
I WONT TAKE YOUR MEDICINE
STIFLED ENTIRE GENERATIONS
PROMISE I WONT GO A KILLING SPREE
OFF ON A TANGENT BUT IM ME
EIGHTY HDLyrics to “80HD”
Hogan: Yeah, I mean, it’s just really silly. That one’s really funny, I didn’t write that one until the day we were recording. And it was just like, “I can’t focus on anything.” I also definitely have ADHD and I’m unmedicated and I’m really stubborn about it.
Mike: All of us do have ADHD.
Sasha: We were talking about band names and we were throwing around a bunch and somebody said the band name we have. It was kind of like, “Oh yeah maybe, that’s whatever.” But I was like, “That’s a sick band name. I really like it.” And then it also happened that we all definitely have ADHD. I was formally diagnosed for sure when I was younger.
Mike: Yup, me too.
Sasha: Hogan, your lyrics on that… You maybe didn’t intend to but you spoke for the whole group.
Hogan: Yeah… that’s why it took until the last day.
C.C.: That’s kind of a perfect story for that song. So how has tour been so far? You’re like a third of the way in, right?
Mike: What is it, day five?
C.C.: Do you have a favorite moment so far?
Hogan: Just kids dancing has been the best. Kids dancing on the bridge in Cleveland, kids sneaking into the Chicago bar to mosh. That shit rocks.
Mike: Seeing a lot of friends. This is Hogan’s first tour but me and Sasha and Ivy have all been in touring bands for a long time and with the pandemic and everything we took a big break from seeing friends all across the country. So for me it’s been really nice to see a lot of old homies and especially… we got to play with that Spanish band Algara.
C.C.: Yeah, I saw them when they came through here… soooo good and lovely people too.
Mike: Killer. Lovely people, and they’re old friends so that was really nice. Another highlight is that we’ve stayed at a lot of houses with animals which is sick.
Sasha: Dude, I think we’ve stayed with animals every single night.
C.C.: That’s a way to plan a tour.
Mike: Lots of good dogs, lots of good cats.
Sasha: The whole thing has been very positive because this is also the band’s first tour. We had done a little traveling together but it just so happened out… I mean, it’s amazing touring with Ivy, she’s great. And the rest of the homies we have with us are absolutely wonderful. Doing a tour right out of Covid I was kind of like, “Oh, I wonder how this is going to go… I wonder if I’m still going to like touring.” And now I’m like, “It’s the best thing ever.”
C.C.: You guys have something on Bandcamp called LP Promo, does that mean there’s an LP coming?
C.C.: What was the process for that like?
Mike: We recorded it… a couple months ago?
Sasha: Yeah! It’s been chill. I have a recording studio which makes everything easier.
Mike: Sasha is the owner and operator of Artifact Audio in Brooklyn which is like a staple of the New York punk scene. She’s recorded a fucking ton of amazing punk bands and other bands, all sorts of bands. So it’s really nice. We were literally playing songs and then Sasha would hop up and press stop. It was cool being able to do that ourselves and take our time with it. The way that fucking all the vinyl pressing plants are right now, it’s just slow as shit. So, I don’t know… we were told like six-ish months?
Sasha: Yeah, which is pretty fast for right now. So hopefully it’ll be out in like six, seven, eight months maybe?
Mike: Knock on wood.
C.C.: I can’t wait to hear it. Something to look forward to.
Mike: Hell yeah, thanks! And 90% of what we played tonight is LP stuff.
Sasha: We’re playing pretty much all new stuff with the exception of like two songs.
C.C.: Yeah, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t recognize but I liked it. What other sort of creative projects are you guys involved in?
Ivy: I sing for a band called True Body. It’s like… I don’t know, I hate using genre descriptors but people just say it’s post-punk.
Sasha: Very good band.
Hogan: I’m doing drums in another band but we haven’t decided on a name yet. We’ll have our first show in like a month in New York.
Sasha: I have a few other bands. Church Clothes, Firewalker, Persona, solo stuff…
Hogan: What’s it called, is it Pretty?
Sasha: Yeah, Pretty is the name of the band.
Hogan: It’s hard to find on Bandcamp!
Sasha: I know. Last Death is the name of the solo stuff. And then I make a lot of music by myself, I make a lot of, like, metal… or kind of like a grindcore band right now.
Mike: I also play guitar in a band called Vaxine.
C.C.: Oh, I saw you guys when you came to Philly! Wait, who was the headliner for that show?
Mike: Oh hell yeah, awesome! It was Chaotic Dischord.
C.C.: That was a fun show! That was my last show at home…
Mike: Awesome… I also play bass in a band called Scalple.
C.C.: Oh yeah, I saw you guys at Something To Talk About.
Sasha: Good ass band.
C.C.: I thought you looked familiar, now it makes sense.
Mike: I was in a band called Children With Dog Feet that just broke up that was kind of like Rudimentary Peni style. And then right now… I started jamming with another friend because I miss playing bass because Scalple is on hiatus.
Hogan: Oh yeah, I totally forgot I have this sort of a country project.
Sasha: Oh yeah! Nelson Hogan is the country name… Incredible, sad fucking country.
C.C.: That’s great. The show I do… there’s not really a theme behind it but it’s called Ear-Bleeding Barndance. I try to play like punk shit and country shit.
Sasha: Oh my God!
Mike: That’s fucking perfect!
Hogan: That’s it!
Sasha: Hogan is your guy.
Hogan: I have a tape on Bandcamp… it’s called Under The Table.
C.C.: I will check that out, it sounds right up my alley. I guess the last thing is, do you guys have any advice for people starting bands, going on tour, trying to get into DIY for the first time?
Ivy: Just do it.
Hogan: It seems like anybody can do it…
Ivy: And anybody can.
Sasha: Be creative. Look around and see what resources you have and really fully apply yourself and be willing to learn to use what you have which I think is a thing that – not to be an old woman about it – is sort of getting lost. I see less self-reliance. You have something, it breaks, you figure out how to fix it. You have a tool, you learn how to use it.
C.C.: It’s weird because it’s easier now than ever. If something breaks you can fucking YouTube it, but also people see so many people that are so good at shit online that I feel like people get… I don’t know. I’m like, “No dude, if you like it just like start a band or do something!”
Sasha: Yeah, yeah! You can record yourself, you can do whatever. And the other thing is if you feel like you’re lacking, don’t be afraid to team up with other people. Don’t be afraid to collaborate.
Mike: For me, I grew up around a lot of really crazy musicians and it was really discouraging, you know? Because I had this fear that I would never pick up a guitar and play it. And then it was like, at a certain point, I was just like, “Fuck it. I’m going to fucking do it.” I started playing music with friends and the best way to get better at something is just to play with people. It’s fucking scary and everybody is self-concious about their musical abilities but just fucking do it, you’re never going to know. Also, some of the greatest punk bands of all time suck… when The Stooges started they didn’t know how to play their instruments. So fucking think about that, man.
Sasha: But also don’t be afraid to strive to be really sick too. Definitely learn, take your time, know that you need to grow… You can push to bust through mediocrity and be really sick. Anybody can be insanely good at something, it just takes a lot of hard work. Practice. Whatever. Work hard.
Mike: Don’t doubt yourself. Always keep pushing. If you want something, you can fucking get it.
C.C.: Well, I’ll tell you guys, I never bled this much at a show before…
Mike: You bled?! Oh shit!
Sasha: Oh woah I didn’t even see that! [All laugh]
C.C.: This was the best show I’ve seen in a hot minute.
Mike: Did you lose your shoe as well?
C.C.: I did…
Mike: Put that in the interview, if anyone sees a green shoe…
C.C.: It flew off mid-kick and went over the fence, and there’s such undergrowth back there.
Mike: Alright, let’s go find your shoe.