Interview by Studs Jerkel.

The Atlantic Thrills are about to embark on a nation-wide tour (full dates below). I catch up with them in their practice space, a few days after their epic record release party here in Providence that saw the club covered in confetti, stuffed animal limbs, nips of whiskey and the sore bodies of a roomful of garage freaks. They play a couple new songs and are in good spirits despite the absence of second guitar player Kelly. I break out a bottle of Four Roses and attempt to become a punk-rock Ira Glass. What follows is a transcript edited for some semblance of coherence, and a prime example of how not to conduct an interview.

Studs Jerkel: The drummer’s the only one that’s sitting down

Eric Agiuar (bass, vocals): I feel better standing up.

SJ: Yeah O whatever you…

Dan Tanner (guitar, vocals): I think I’m gonna do whatever I want.

SJ: Are we recording now?

EA: This is better because we’re even now, the drummer’s like seven feet tall.

DT: So yes, let’s get down to business then.

SJ: Alright this is Almost Ready correspondent Studs Jerkel here on the front lines of the Providence rock scene…

The band collectively makes air horn, siren and barking sounds like an FM morning crew.

DT: Whooo whoooo whooooooo

JT: Dan, Dan! Top-tier Tanner, Top-tier!

EA: Top-Tier, how’d you get that name Top-Tier?

DT: You’re going to have to ask your girl — about that, she knows all about it… Whatever man I have so many nicknames it doesn’t even matter

SJ: Yeah that’s true and maybe we could….

DT: Maybe, well maybe it’s because…

EA: This is on the record…

DT: Maybe I have so many nicknames because I’m an interesting person, maybe that’s what happened.

SJ: And I would probably agree with that. Maybe we could go into some of your other nicknames and how they each describe a different side of your personality?

Josh Towers (drums): DJ Hard Hat Drops the Thickest Steel-toe Techno!

DT: That’s true, DJ Hardhat, I just go whaoooc-chunkchunka-whaoooo-chunkachunka….for like an hour and a half

JT emits high pitched counter melody during DT’s reply

SJ: That sounds like the polar opposite of Sensual Dan.

DT: Yea but Sensual Dan is a little smooth, Sensual Dan is a little more like Domp-pup-domp-pup-domp-pup…

JT: Hard Hat is a different animal…

DT: Sensual Dan kinda grasps on to the soul of people and says “Yo, you know what you really need right now, you just need something to make you flow girl”, you know what I mean, “You flow girl.”

SJ: There’s a bunch of people around town who have taken to calling you The Detonator over the years.

DT: Well the Detonator is a completely different nickname, it’s one that I wish I could continue to perpetuate, but honestly I can’t do that anymore. The Detonator is dead, and it’s a terrible, terrible thing.

SJ: Long live the Detonator!

DT: Long live the Detonator, but the Detonator’s dead because I can’t do the things that the Detonator did anymore…

SJ: Ok, so I wanted to ask the group at large something, who is Bobby Bracciola?

DT: hahah what the fuck?

EA: That guy? I don’t like that guy, he comes into my room sometimes… it get’s weird

SJ: You performed with him once outside the E&O at at block party…

JT: Yeah he was a criminal defense lawyer, a chubby gentleman in a white linen suit and I think he repeated the term “sausage in your face” three times in a row, but not in a sexual way, in a just gimme sausage…

DT: He’s just a typical Rhode Island Italian gentleman.

EA: I plead the fifth.

SJ: He put out a record called “I’m a Spaccone.”

JT: Mama Spaccone? You know what what I would call that? Dreadfully interesting…

DT: At that point and time is was just something we did; we don’t give a shit, fuck it this guy’s hilarious.

EA: What actually happened was in the summer of 1999 I got pulled over and he was my lawyer, I never told anyone this, but he got me off of a DUI charge, and I was like “Look man, I owe you one, and I do music, anytime you want to get hooked up, call me.”

DT: Yo straight up, did this really happen?

SJ: I thought it was a gun charge…

EA: It was a gun charge, but it wasn’t a pistol, it was a piece, it was a dick…

DT: It’s always a dick

Clunk! Shouts of “Dude!” The whiskey bottle falls as Dan hands it to Josh, miraculously it doesn’t shatter and very little is lost.

DT: You know what’s really amazing about that is that it actually didn’t do anything, it didn’t even spill anything! Everything is straight, everything is good!

SJ: The Four Roses lives on!

JT: Courtesy of Studs Jerkel, ladies and gentlemen, Almost Ready Representative…

EA: You know what’s weird about this is that Josh is behind the drums, I’m holding a bass, and Dan’s holding a guitar; you on vocals?

JT: I feel like Studs Jerkel is better than us, he’s like, “Yo, I’m leading this.” Yo, what up Studs Merchel?

DT: Studs Jerk on the tambourine!

EA: It’s too right.

DT: It’s just too right dawg.

Awkward pause

SJ: Ok, so anyway we’ll edit that part out of the transcript…

JT: The interview’s starting now, Good to see you, good to see you! Studs, how are you?

SJ: So, tell me about the new album! I heard you had a lot of help in recording it, with lots of interest from local label heads!

DT: So many heads…

EA: I turn away all the heads…

SJ: But seriously, I find it admirable that you record everything yourselves…

JT: We don’t do it all ourselves, Eric masters this shit. it’s awesome, there’s no crunch time…

SJ: I think it comes off on the record, it sound’s like a party,and not some band rushed in studio…

JT: I don’t imagine us doing well in a studio…

DT: I don’t completely agree with that

JT: I just remember how with my old band the Sleazies we practiced every day for three months so when we went into the studio we wouldn’t dick around, and I had it down then, I was polished and young (DT starts laughing). Shut up, that’s your dick preference: polished and young…

DT: What I like about the way we do it is that we have a song, and then we get drunk and play it and have a good time, and a lot of times that take of being super loose, and even though it’s not perfect that not perfect take ends up being the final take, because we end up taking that take and take it again, and then we take it from behind…


DT: God damn it will you listen to me for once?

SJ: “Take it on the Other Side” perhaps?

DT: We take that take and we over-dub everything on it and it sounds awesome…

JT: Jesus Christ! C’mon man you’re moderating this shit right now!

SJ: Well I’m gonna edit…

DT: Should I just shut down, should I just stop talking…

EA starts to emit a low pitched drone, like Tuvan throat singing, everyone in the room joins in, this goes on for a minute building into some kind of chant like Matthew Mcconaughey in that scene in Wolf of Wall Street. Thinking this might clear the air I attempt to ask about Stan, a character that was a former neighbor of Eric and Dan and co-worker of mine. I’m hoping this will yield stories like the time Dan was picked up on an old warrant for him (absurd because Dan’s a young stocky white dude while Stan’s a 6’7″ thin as a rail black man in his late fifties); instead everyone’s confused and Josh starts to get frustrated because he has no idea who we’re talking about.The fifth of whiskey is below the half way point and I figure I’ve got one question left before this degenerates any further…

SJ: Well pretty much my ace in the hole here is this: why don’t we go around the room and everyone can tell a good drug story, it doesn’t have to be incriminating…

DT: I love drug stories…

SJ: Dan, you’re gonna go last…

JT: Well the one that comes to mind is this dude — —, I’ll name his name because I’m sure he’s dead now, he was the kid that had a face tattoo at 17… he sold me this shit, maybe the fifth time I’d smoked weed, and it looked and smelled just like the last stuff I bought off him, we smoked out of those shitty brass screwed together pipes and three hits in I was puking, shaking, and sweating for an hour and a half, then I pulled together and tried to finger blast this girl at a party, and I guess that’s my drug story.

SJ: That sounds like the 90’s…

JT: I think it was 1990.

EA: Ok a drunk story. I got a drunk story… I’m drunk right now

JT: A drug story!

EA: motions to Dan He knows it, he could probably tell it…

DT: If you really want to get down with drug stories I have an amazing one…

SJ: The two of you might have a combined story…

EA: I would never do drugs with this insane asshole.

DT: I’m an amazing person to do drugs with!

EA: He’s insane, he’s an asshole, and his asshole’s insane.

DT: Honestly, if you want to drugs I’m your partner, I’m your man…

EA: Ok here’s my drug story… I was doing a hip-hop thing with a couple of friends, it was the first thing I ever did live, and I was nervous as hell, I’d never performed in front of people before…

JT: Really, you never did talent shows or anything?

EA: I couldn’t, I was terrified, my anxiety was so high… We drank all this tequila the night before, it had to be tequila! Everyone was a seasoned vet, we had a whole B-boy show performing with us, and my nerves were just killing me. On top of that I was breaking up with my girl and I was seeing someone else, who was going to be at the show that night…

JT: I’m sure it didn’t matter, I’m sure she loved it…

EA: No, not at all, this is not a positive story, there’s not a happy ending to any of this…

JT: That’s not been my experience! Even on my worst nights I’ve still gotten an “Aww, you got up there, that was sexy”!

EA: So I was drunk and hung over, this girl was on my couch and my girlfriend that I’m breaking up with was like ‘Who the fuck is this bitch?’, and the whole thing went by in a blur, I don’t remember anything I said that night. This was at Fort Thunder, I remember Dan St. Jaques from Olneyville Sound System telling me ‘Ok, I think we’re gonna close the night.’

Everyone cheers the mention of legendary Providence heavy rocker.

EA: But now, every time we as a band perform poorly, or I think we do, I’m right back in that moment…

JT: Wow that’s heavy man…

DT: It’s not a drug story though… you all wanna here some ill drug stories?

JT: Top-tier Tanner, c’mon, what’s the next question!

SJ: To be fair I think we need to hear Dan’s story, he’s chomping at the bit to tell it…

JT: But there’s so much…

DT: You know why there’s so much, you know why?

SJ: Because you’re the number one drug buddy…

DT: You’re absolutely right. Because my whole life is a drug story. Now I want all of you to shut the fuck up and listen to me…

SJ: Part of being a good interviewer is being a good listener so I’ll take that challenge…

DT: My friends know nothing about just listening and have a hard time shutting the fuck up. (Dan goes on a tangent about the hard realities of drug use. Josh makes sound effects in the background) I’m gonna tell you a really funny story if you guys can shut the fuck up. This is about me when I was 15 and the number one acid seller in town.

JT: Don’t get distracted I’m just trying to add flavor to the story.

DT: This is a story about my friend Gregg, my best friend at the time, you guys would have loved him, all the stuff we were into then we’re into now, comedy. tragedy…

JT: That’s cool man, but that’s all the background we need.

Eric chants something that sounds like A-hole

JT: This whole interview is getting deleted!

SJ: Josh you’re doing a better job than me, why don’t you interview him?

JT: Drive the facts out of him! Who is this person, what does he do that’s relevant to the band?

EA: Yeah who is this guy?

DT: You guys are insane.

EA: This is why we play music, we prefer to play music than talk to each other, because every time we talk to each other it’s ‘Who are you, where am I, what the hell are we doing here…’

DT: Would you really like to hear a drug story, because if you shut the fuck up for a second, I’ll show you a drug story…

JT: Oh god damn it! I spilt a ton of bong water all over myself!

Confused muttering. Tape cuts off. Pizza man arrives. The next day I get the recording from Eric. ‘Sorry man, listened to pieces of this, don’t remember any of it.’ The Atlantic Thrills bring their very special form of Providence belligerence on a US tour this March and April.

Atlantic Thrills US Tour 2014
Tue March 4th – Brooklyn, NY at Don Pedro w/ The Rats, Living Kills, + Heavy Birds
Wed March 5th – Baltimore, MD at Gold Bar w/ Sal Bando + The Set Up
Thur March 6th – Richmond VA at Strange Matter w/ The Ar-kaics + Dirty Fences
Fri March 7th – Asheville, NC at Mothlight w Psychic Teens + The Shine Brothers
Sat March 8th – Murfreesboro, TN at Wall st w The Whistle Pigs
Sun March 9th – Memphis, TN
Mon March 10th – Denton, TX at Rubber Gloves w/ The Neighbors
Tues March 11th – Sat March 15th – SXSW – Austin, TX
Sun March 16th – Las Cruces, NM at The Trainyard w/ Canadian Rifles
Mon March 17th – Tucson, AZ at District Tavern w/ Resonars, Dead Ghosts, Boogarins(Brazil), + Dune Rats(Australia)
Tue March 18th – San Diego, CA
Wed March 19th – Los Angeles, CA w/ L.A. Drugs
Thur March 20th – San Francisco, CA at The Hemlock w/ The Nubs + Scraper
Fri March 21st – Oakland, CA
Sat March 22nd – Davis, CA at Robot Rocket Residence w/ 2014 (Scott Miller from Nar, Bananas etc)
Sun March 23rd – Medford, OR at Johnny B’s
Mon March 24th – Portland, OR at East End w Thee Four Teens + Mean Jeans
Tue March 25th – Seattle, WA at the 2 Bit w/ Branden Daniel and The Chics
Wed March 26th – Spokane, WA at Mootsy’s w/ Primal Shakes & TBD
Thur March 27th – Missoula, MT at ZACC Below – Martyfest 2 w/ Iron Chic
Fri March 28th – Day Off
Sat March 29th – Fargo, ND
Sun March 30th – Minneapolis, MN at Palmer’s w/ Cozy + Hot Rash
Mon. March 31st – Milwaukee, WI at Center st Free Space w Peach Kelli Pop, Bored Games, and Joust
Tue. April 1st – Chicago, IL at The Emporium
Wed April 2nd – Detroit, MI at PJs Lager House w/ Roman Gabriel Todd’s The Beast Rising Up Out Of The Sea
Thur April 3rd – Cleveland, OH at Now That’s Class w/ Swirly In The Fryer + Teen Vomit
Fri April 4th – Columbus, OH at Cafe Bourbon St. w/ Red Feathers + Day Creeper
Sat April 5th – Pittsburgh, PA at Gooski’s w/ The City Buses
Sun April 6th – Brooklyn, NY at Death By Audio w/ Liquor Store

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License(unless otherwise indicated) © 2019