Tell us about yourself and your music
The Sewer Buddies are a collective of independent Boston musicians who create punk songs for kids, of all ages! We write original goofy, child-safe, lyrics that will get kids excited to explore heavy music, go to all-ages shows and even start their bands. Most of us are in multiple music groups and The Sewer Buddies is our passion project. The majority of our performances are fundraisers for various local non-profits to help encourage children to become more involved in volunteer opportunities in their community. Our band is meant as an entry point into punk for kids. We believe this next generation of young minds are the future musicians that will help keep punk alive and current. It’s so important to introduce kids to this music early when it will have the opportunity to connect with them, create confidence and hopefully help them find friends in a world that may not feel welcoming to nonconformist thinkers. We hope that if children hear The Sewer Buddies they’ll get excited to start their creative endeavors and they’ll have the support of the punk community. Rock and Roll!
Talk to us more about your latest release
When children visit our family farm, we usually go on a wagon ride and they love seeing our Belgian Draft horses nutrient recycling or dropping “road apples” along the trail. Each Sewer Buddies release contains scatological humor by including “butt” in the album title. Our latest EP is called Butt Brains. The album cover, magically drawn by our awesome friend, Carissa Fuel Heart, features illustrations representing funny subject matter from each of the released songs.
What inspired you to write this release?
When we go outside with students, they often get excited to learn more about the amazing animals and especially the bugs we see! It’s fun to write songs about our happy doggie friends that inspire us each day, mythological creatures, and even animals that aren’t as cute or cuddly. We love learning and sharing our knowledge about all these different critters and their natural habitats. We are part of this exciting environment and believe in the importance of outdoor education for mental and physical wellbeing. Encouraging kids to explore and appreciate nature can help them find ways to make a difference by helping conserve our planet.
Describe the writing and recording process
Part of creating and sustaining a welcoming local music community is supporting each other’s bands. What makes The Sewer Buddies such a fun and special project is we are a collective of many musical friends from different bands. Many of us work with elementary students and can discover what kids find funny and interesting, especially through the different library books children choose for storytime. Often kids are underestimated, we have found that introducing new ideas, information, and encouraging children to think for themselves helps them learn, feel confident, happy, creative, and empowered!
Our song, Hard Times for The Boogey Man, is loosely based on the 1988 John Carpenter classic, They Live, and starts with, “Don’t believe everything you hear, don’t believe everything you see,” encouraging kids to ask questions and apply problem-solving strategies to overcome their fears. The scary truth is many children do not have even their most basic needs met, creating much larger problems to address than the Boogeyman. Kids need to learn empathy at an early age so they can work together to create a better future for everyone. We believe in these kids, their smart and capable, they will have struggles to work through and we want to help children feel welcome to be themselves and to enjoy the happiness and fun that music can bring to life. When we record our Sewer Buddies albums, we believe in involving many musical minds and making decisions, such as picking which songs to record, democratically. We usually record at our Boston practice space with our friend Elisabeth Lizard Breath as our audio engineer. Many different Sewer Buddies came together to create our Butt Brains release including Andrew Armpit, Lego Lee, Nate See-Thru, Green Eggs and Sam, Matt, and Cheese, Coleman Cleaner, Paul B A Seal, Kyle Kicks Butt, Dennis the Menace and Lindsey Loogie.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
The wonderful part of being in a band is all the amazing opportunities it can lead to. Connecting with new and old friends, exploring the country on tours, supporting other musicians’ projects, having something to look forward to, a creative outlet, and being able to put on benefit shows to raise money for causes that your members believe in. At the moment, everything seems so up in the air and we have decided to focus on writing songs for our next recording. We have eight new songs we are creating and practicing the music for now. We are looking forward to playing in more elementary schools, libraries, all-ages venues, and outdoor festivals in the future.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Our songs are genuine. We share stories and moments from our lives that we hope kids will find funny, interesting, and relatable. Our song Doggy Dance is inspired by George Clinton’s song Atomic Dog and describes how our golden retriever, Huckleberry, dances for joy and sings “roo, roo, roo” (heard recreated in each chorus) when he greets us. In our song Rat Pace, we encourage empathy for other animals and appreciation for what we have by considering how creatures, like rats and crabs, scavenge what humans discard. This is an exciting time in children’s music, there is so much more to explore, both lyrically and musically. We believe by singing about current topics, such as bathroom equality, and setting the lyrics to heavier rock and roll music, we bring something brand new can be a table!
Who have you been listening to lately?
There are a ton of amazing bands from so many different genres. To narrow it down, here are a few Massachusetts bands we like, Saint Ripper, Showcase Showdown, The Freeze, Battery March, Birds of Spray, Nervous Eaters, Lou Miami and The Kozmetix, Gang Greene, Black Mass, Electric Street Queens, Crisis Actors, NOTOX, Loretta, Morphine, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Dick Dale, Crimps, The Radicals, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion, The FU’s, Converge, Jerry’s Kids, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Negative FX, The Proletariat, SSD, Injury, Ugly, The Unseen, The Cars, Donna Summer, They Might Be Giants, The Magnetic Fields, Toxic Narcotic, Similar Items, Gas Station Girls, Video Filth, The Lemonheads, Mission of Burma and there’s a bunch more that I’m forgetting.
Who are your biggest influences?
Growing up in rural New England before the internet was widely available, my outlet for finding music was limited. By saving the little I earned from stacking wood and doing other farm chores, I was able to buy tapes and CD’s from the closest independent music store, Turn It Up, forty minutes away. I listened to all the punk, metal, and rock and roll classics that I recognized from films like Pump Up The Volume, Repo Man, Suburbia, Smithereens, The Decline of Western Civilization, Return of The Living Dead, Dudes, the TV show My So-Called Life, etc. One of the other biggest musical inspirations for me was the 1992 film Sister Act where Whoopi Goldberg performed adapted soul classics, her role inspired me to start singing. While I was at college in Colorado, I was fortunate to DJ at KDUR, an amazing local community radio station that let me explore tunes at all hours of the night. I had no vehicle and after the last busses from the campus left I would have to hitchhike to and from campus, so instead I would spend all night in the radio station listening to music. My radio show wasn’t during safe harbor hours and because of FCC rules, no explicit content was allowed. I had to search for punk songs, without swears, so I often included instrumental surf, metal, theme songs from old tv shows and horror films, noise, rock and roll, no-wave, rockabilly, country, Avant guard, funky hip hop and ranchera music in the show. This is where I got the idea to create a punk band for kids, a band that could be played at any time of day and creates an entry point into heavy music. Here are a few female-fronted bands and artists that changed my life, The Rezillos, The Bags, The B-52’s, The Avengers, Patti Smith, Carole King, Diana Ross, X-Ray Spex, Crass, Chumbawamba, The Muffs, The Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Slits, The Runaways, Joan Jett, The Plasmatics, Girl School, Spit Boy, Bikini Kill, Shonen Knife, Bow Wow Wow, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Madonna, Suzie Quatro, Wanda Jackson, X, The 5, 6, 7, 8’s, Queen Latifa, Aretha Franklin, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Whitney Houston, Salt-N-Pepa, Lita Ford and many many more that I’m probably forgetting.
Tell us about your passions
The best way to enjoy the winters here in rural New England is to find a sport, so every weekend, my father and I went snowboarding. Once I was old enough, I began teaching snowboarding to children at Okemo Mountain. In the summers I learned to skateboard, competed in slalom skateboard competitions, and worked with children at summer adventure camps. Skateboarding is a great way to explore a new city and get exercise. While on tour, our band likes to search for bike paths to skate and explore the cities we pass through, often stopping at arcades with pinball machines that usually have cheap slices of pizza. I save all my quarters so I am always pinballed ready. I am from the country and find the most peace in the outdoors, whether it’s playing baseball with my dogs or taking them for a hike, canoeing with my family, playing basketball on a warm summer night, attending karate classes, exploring life in a pond, helping things grow in our garden, going to the beach, playing chess in the park or enjoying our countries amazing National Parks. Conserving the environment has become a large priority in my life and I believe strongly in volunteering, you can make new friends, learn so much and make an impact in your community. We are all capable of helping change the world. When I have to be indoors, I love to read and my favorite place is the library! I recently finished Race Across Alaska about the first woman to win the Iditarod, Libby Riddles.
Thanks for an awesome interview, The Sewer Buddies
Connect with The Sewer Buddies
Website: https://thesewerbuddies.bandcamp.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSewerBuddies/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sewer_buddies/Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRqyCaMPlVmYB4uqYJR_-cg