The Cynics: That's Michael Kastelic up front and Gregg Kostelich at right.
LIVING AS A CYNIC: GREGG KOSTELICH FRONTS THE BAR
By ROBERTO CALABRO
If living is
the best revenge, the Cynics comeback is the proof that (good) rock 'n'
roll never dies. As a matter of fact, the great U.S. garage-band is back touring
overseas after a 10-year absence. Before releasing their new album - "Living
is the Best Revenge" - they issued two groundbreaking singles "Turn
Me Loose" and "Never Had It Better" - on their own Get
Hip label (home for other excellent bands such as Gore Gore Girls, The
Chains, Mondo Topless, Paybacks, Deep Reduction, Shutdown 66 and more).
With great help from Texan lo-fi musician/producer Tim Kerr, the Cynics recorded "Living Is The Best Revenge" in just a couple of days. In fact they needed only 48 hours to work on 12 nuggets of high-octane garage-punk with overdriven fuzz guitars (including three covers by their '60s idols the 13th Floor Elevators, the Satans and the Electric Prunes). After that they went to Europe for touring, but had to curtail things prematurely in Spain after singer Michael Kastelic was dragged off a stage by an over zealous fan and suffered a severe laceration to his urethra (ouch!) After some anxious moments in an emergency ward (Michael lost a massive amount of blood) it was back to Pittsburgh for recuperation.
During the lay-up, I was in touch with guitarist Gregg Kostelich and put forward a few questions
Q Why did you decide to comeback?
After several attempts from Jon Weiss ala Cavestomp, it wasnt until Barney Koumis and Charlene Coleman, who help with the Las Vegas Grind, convinced us to get together and play their weekender. The rest is history.
Q It seems the right time for you to come back. All the major media (NME, Rolling Stone, etc.) are supporting rock 'n' roll these days, even if it's mostly hype. What do you think about the so called New Garage Wave?
It's just a coincidence for us. The Cynics have been playing our brand of garage rocknroll before and after the hype.
Q "Living Is The Best Revenge" was recorded in just a couple of days by Tim Kerr. Why did you choose him as a producer and why was the recording process so fast? Did you have all the songs ready?
The LP was recorded in two days and mixed in two days. Michael felt that everything that Tim produced was great so we went with it. Jim Diamond was also a consideration.
Q The album's title is fucking great. Against whom are you seeking revenge?
The message's for the clubs, promoters, lovers, friends who turn out not to be friends.
Q What's your opinion about this album? For me it's one of the best things youve recorded
For the first time the whole band were in agreement with the LP. It took some convincing at first with the songwriting, etc., but after listening to it several times the band is very satisfied.
Q Are you satisfied by the critics and fans reaction to this album and what are your future plans?
So far all feedback is positive with the exception of the U.K. mag Shindig who don't understand American rock 'n' roll. Theyre still gloating over Syd Barrett's small contribution. Maybe they should take up gardening and living at home with Mommy also.
We plan on touring the world this whole year. We will play Mexico City along with Canadian and Usa dates, then festivals in Scandinavia, Greece, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland and possibly Spain in September again.
Visit the Cynics on the Web here and score their album from Get Hip.
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