Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Interview with Sammy Mckee from OLD CITY

Old City image
OLD CITY is a band of progress. Formed initially by Sammy Mckee the band is being built piece by piece... Join the in-process experiment as yet OLD CITYS ranks grow again... Dig the minimalist 'Dork moon' dark-wave of OLD CITY often and frequently.

Questions by Shawn Abnoxious. Answers by Sammy Mckee

Sammy, tell the readers about OLD CITY...

OLD CITY started off as a solo outlet with more electronic leanings. It was basically an outlet for my weirder, non Bitter Airplane songs. I added Dave Cupp to the mix to help with the live side of things and now it has taken on a life of its own. We are adding a bassist too here in the near future. I'll be sure to give THWART! the exclusive on that when we announce it. Basically, Old City is fucked up pop songs written from a very spontaneous and dark place.

'Pop' like Brittney Spears 'Pop'? Could you define the term in relation to you and Dave and OLD CITY?

Pop like having melody. Hehe. And NOT pop like pop punk. I hate that shit. Hehe. Dave recorded the VIEW-FINDER album and 7" and we have been looking to collaborate for a long time. He had been wanting to drum on something, so it worked out perfectly. He's a permanent member and has brought so much to the project. He [Dave Cupp] got involved because after playing a few solo shows, I really wanted to add drums. I asked him because we have been long time friends and I knew that he was looking to drum for a band.

So the whole band is just you and Dave then?

Yep… for now… until December when we add Gabe from 1000 ARMS and SOMETIMES on bass… Gabe's going to join and we're playing a bunch of shows… It'll be great to have his influence on the low-end side of the house. We're also recording 4 songs with Steve Wethington at New Fidelity. We hope to split them up over a couple of split 7"s

Really good fit with him… Has Gabe’s involvement with KASPAROV and his take on the commercialization of the music industry something that has inspired you and modified your perception or has Gabe’s inclusion into OLD CITY seen as a unifying if like-minded individuals? Could you address Gabe's efforts and philosophy in KASPAROV (‘everything free, decentralization of industry ethics') in relation to OLD CITY's stance?

There is no worries at all about the vision being lost. This project is basically a growing beast and I’m having a blast with what it has evolved to…. With Gabe in the fold, our sound is really expanding and I'm excited about the possibilities. It's really a meeting of like minds. I've always wanted to be in a project with him; Love his songs and his style. It's completely fucked up and different and I feel like my shit is fucked up and different in a similar, yet completely different way. We have already written a song together that will be on our next EP coming out this month.

How will this new EP be 'different'? Is Gabe's inclusion into OLD CITY changing anything on a drastic level?

The EP will be recorded the same way (all songs recorded, mixed, and mastered in one day). We're recording it again with Steve Wethington of HUMANS BOW DOWN at New Fidelity studios. The song ideas on all of the EP's are different as I'm not concerned with having a certain sound. We're focused more on song quality than genre. Because of that, every EP will be different. I do think that his addition is going to change the sound dramatically because Gabe is a dramatic player. He does things every time we play together that blow my mind. So if anything, the sound is growing. The aesthetic, however, will forever be the same. DIY. Fuck the machine.

In 1000 ARMS I remember Gabe singing songs changing lyrics of the song to 'fit' the night... He would awkwardly smile from time to time. I think he would be a good fit in ANY band, just as well in OLD CITY... What’s the mission of the band? What do you hope to achieve?

We're very happy and fortunate that he is with us. The mission is to play music and have FUN. Hopefully the end user gets that part.

Name something that is better about the Cincinnati scene now compared to 10 years ago and something that still needs work... in your opinion.

I like the declining number of garage rock rip off bands. Haha. I love garage rock, but DAMN! I think that organization is something that needs even more work than 10 years ago. Networking and what not should be easier than ever with all of this fancy technology, but it's nowhere near wear it was when you just networked at shows and used a telephone to book shows.

Looking back from the next 10 years what do you think your answer could sound like then?

That's a hard question. Hehe. I hate to speculate, but I do hope that Cincinnati continues to send bands out of town to gain bigger audiences. We have a few that are ready now in my eyes.

What’s some of the bands you have eyes on? Which band is 'the next big thing'?

Locally, HOMEMADE DRUGS… They have a TON of energy and I think that if they get out of town, they can really do something.

What is 'success' to you?

The ability to have a shit ton of people hear your art… To share with the world… And it helps if they like it. Ha ha

What do you want the readers of ...Thwart! to know about OLD CITY? Can you sell 'it' in exactly 24 words?

Cincinnati DIY'ers that do not conform to any genre crafting loud ass songs with the intention of them sticking in your head fucking permanently.

(…Thwart! Note: EXACTLY 24 words)

What’s behind the band name Sam? Is there a deeper, cryptic meaning?

I wish! Ha ha. Seriously though, to me it means to do this while you have a chance. None of us are going to live forever. Did you catch the bitter airplane reference there? Hehe

No. You are a sly one. I have been oh *high* alert this whole time. You wanna take a minute to tell everyone about BITTER AIRPLANE and explain how that ties in with OLD CITY?

OLD CITY is kind of the dark side of Sammy. THE BITTER AIRPLANE generally comes from a more deep and thought out place. In February or March there will be n announcement about BITTER AIRPLANE plans.

Which one song do you feel captures what OLD CITY is doing? Which one song is a must listen for interested parties? Why?

I would say that “Simple Solution” sums it up best. The idea of OLD CITY is to write what comes out. Don't overthink it. Just make it happen.

Tell those interested where to find your music and anything else anyone reading this you feel they need to know... Thanks for participating Sammy. I got eyes on you.
12/12/12 :: Old City :: Little Lights :: MOTR :: WEDS
Send them to our band camp page (link below-Shawn)... And at our shows of course… We're at MOTR on 12/12 with Little Lights, at Rake's End with XMAS CAR CRASH (Shane from CATERPILLAR TRACKS), UMIN, and R RING at Northside Tavern on 12/22 with HOMEMADE DRUGS.

Shane Johnson? What a commie bastard huh? 

I hear that he has converted to libertarianism these days.

Libertarians... 'Pot smoking Republicans'... Its gonna take some smooth talking to the comrades to not let him hang for that when the class war hits.


Stay tuned for continuing coverage of OLD CITY with …Thwart! and further developments concerning THE BITTER AIRPLANE. In the meantime, eat the meal handed to you. Dine on OLD CITY’s dark moods.

Visit the OLD CITY Bandcamp page HERE
Like them on Facebook HERE
Listen to “Simple Solution” HERE