This week’s Audacy Alternative "Pick of the Week" is The Interrupters' "In The Mirror."
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About The Interrupters:
When considering Los Angeles outfit The Interrupters, take a moment to kindly forget jargon like “SoCal punk rock” or “next wave ska” or whatever perimeter you want to secure around them. A typical Interrupters gig feels like going to church where all the religious iconography is taken out and replaced with mirrors so the band and audience become one. Ignited by frontwoman Aimee Interrupter and the Bivona brothers’ indefatigable enthusiasm, attendees can see joy in action; discover strength in numbers; and feel bulletproof when facing the forces that haunt them. There are no victims or outcasts in attendance when the quartet are onstage: Transfixed by the legendary ‘80s 2 Tone ska movement and fueled with a contemporary energy that makes 180-bpm thrash-metallers seem positively slack, Aimee Interrupter and the Bivona brothers Kevin, Justin and Jesse blur the enthusiasm between band and audience in a way that’s equal parts dance party, cardio workout and personal therapy.
The Interrupters formed in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles in 2011. Guitarist Kevin Bivona and his twin brothers Justin (bass) and Jesse (drums) were thrilled by the 90’s punk-rock resurgence as well as the groove, energy, and messages found in the original 2 Tone ska bands. Prior to meeting Aimee, the Bivonas were mainstays of Tim Timebomb And Friends, the ad hoc band founded by Tim Armstrong, working in the studio and backing the Rancid co-founder on tours. It was only after the Bivonas met Aimee in 2009 and started playing together did The Interrupters know they had a 100db je ne sais quois between them. Armstrong has been a mentor, producer, and acted as an honorary “fifth Interrupter” with the band, offering sage advice to parallel the band’s sweat equity.
While previous releases were produced by Armstrong, the pandemic significantly limited his participation with this record. Kevin Bivona took his place in the producer’s chair as (in his words) “the accountable one,” overseeing the proceedings, reviewing the band’s backlog of tracks, supporting the ideas and contributions of life partner Aimee and his siblings, as well as sorting out an abundance of ideas recorded as cell phone voice memos. Freed from the constraints of recording schedules and the financial pressures of expensive studio time, the record took shape organically. If Aimee wanted to keep vampire hours and record vocals at two in the morning, it was no problem. If lyrics weren’t flowing, Kevin and Aimee would leave the compound on their bikes and shout ideas back and forth while cycling through the neighborhood. The result? The most personal Interrupters album to date—and the one all four members feel most connected to.
Eleven years in, four records deep, an incalculable number of road miles logged around the world, and significant radio chart success, The Interrupters remain committed to shaking off the ghosts, doing the work, and uplifting their fans for some psychic crowd-surfing. We live in a world where many bands’ level of fan investment is limited to waving at them through an open five-inch space of tinted limo windows. By comparison, The Interrupters are so dedicated to their mission, they’ll practically hang on the corner with you while you wait for your Uber. For that reason alone, you should see where In The Wild will take you.
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