Is Rock’n'Roll in danger?
Paul Collins certainly thinks so.Â “Rock’n'roll has always needed saving and it has always been saved!” says the near-legendary Collins, of the Nerves and the Beat, two classic power-pop/punk touchstones for two generations of New York bands and current frontman of the Paul Collins Beat.
I interviewed Collins over Facebook recently to talk about his latest project, the Beat Army.
GPNYC: Why does the world need a “beat army” ?
PC: The BEAT ARMY was set up to specifically help preserve power pop, pop punk, new wave melodic guitar based rock, so it can exist and flourish at the club level.
GPNYC: What’s changed in the club world since the early/mid 80′s? Is it harder to get great rock’n'roll out there?
PC: I think it has always been pretty tough, although the 90′s were particularly hard for the kind of music I do, but outside of that I think right now the clubs are hurting so they are nicer to bands and are more open to letting groups come in and promote there own shows.
GPNYC: Do you think the Internet has helped or hurt the situation?
PC: Yes, most definitely, I think the internet has opened up the scene and made it much more accessible to everyone. The BEAT ARMY has booked some 30 shows this summer all through the internet.
GPNYC: What are some bands today that you think are making great rock’n'roll?
PC: Gentlemen Jesse from Atlanta, Davilla 666 from PR (Puerto Rico), Mothers Children from Ottowa, Baja Bugs from San Diego, a lot of the new bands I have been hearing on Burger Records, Stupidity, Electric Mess, Pieces……
GPNYC: Burger Records is great. Did you ever play with their band Thee Makeout Party?
PC: We are on the road with Lee he is awesome…didnt get a chance to play with his band but maybe someday!
GPNYC: I think they’re done unfortunately. it was an amazing band. bother him for an LP, it’s killer!
PC: I will we have been listening in the van!
GPNYC: if you were starting out now, without the last 30+ years of playing music behind you, would you do anything differently?Â How many shows do you think a new-ish band should play a month? there are some bands that seem to play every 4 days and some play twice a year.
PC: If I were just starting out again I would do it pretty much the same way, spend a lot of time perfecting my craft, writing great songs, rehearsing, plotting and I would play every chance I could get.
GPNYC: One more question: is new york still a good place for live rock’n'roll? since you do some touring and have been all over, where’s the best place to be?
PC: NY is great but it is also tough, there is so much going on at any given moment, I have noticed that a lot of the new bands are playing all the time all over town but the problem is how to run successful shows with goods turn outs…that is what I want to do, I think if you have shows with bands that draw on different fan bases you have a better chance…garage rock, power pop, punk pop ect…That what I want to do…the scene needs to turn numbers for people to start taking it seriously…
You can join the Beat Army on Facebook.Tags: beat army, Burger Records, interview, paul collins