Steve Pid sings in the infamous Providence punk band White Load. Known for their chaotic live shows and out of control sound, they write perfectly straightforward raw songs that are over before you know it. Check out White Load when they play at AS220 on Friday, February 22nd with Insult, Rampant Decay, and White Pages.
C- We met at a show in punk house in Providence that you booked. You book a lot of shows in non-venue spaces, how do you seek those out? Also, tell me about the weirdest place you’ve ever played.
S- Providence is known for its unconventional DIY venues, mainly old mills and factories that make for a pretty exciting place to see a show even if the bands playing aren’t all too great. Sometimes desperate landlords will rent to anyone who will cover the mortgage. Works out well for the punks and weirdos until they decide to sell or try to fix it up for luxury lofts. The weirdest place I’ve ever played was a squatted house that was being torn down by show-goers as we played. There was no power so people were running extension cords from unsuspecting neighbors houses, through the house of swinging axes, hammers, toilets, etc, down to the basement. Still not sure how no one died that night, but 2 people spent the night in jail and our set ended with me being electrocuted by our guitarist and blowing out all the power. Ian (guitar member) stopped mid-song to strangle me with some Christmas lights and then ZAP, out goes the power. I got to throw a sink through a toilet that night. When the cops finally came and didn’t know what to do they just said over the loudspeaker that “next person to break something goes to jail” after which 2 people threw a couch through the front windows. It’s always funny watching white people cut their dreads for court.
C- Any “legitimate” venues you like playing at?
S- I enjoy AS220 because despite their “no covers” policy, they let me get away with just about anything. One time I fell through a table mid-set and went through a $7,000 painting. When the house manager tried to scold me I replied “I expected you to have sturdier tables.” Somehow they let me book a monthly gig there. It’s also one of the few all-ages places to play in town.
C- So basically you’re like the Tasmanian Devil of Providence punk?
S- I’ve calmed down a lot in the past few years but that’s the reputation that follows me. There was a period of time where the crowds here got very boring and standoff-ish, so I decided to make my own fun at the expense of the arms-crossed attendees and it just kind of snowballed. It’s not nearly as bad as it’s made out to be, but it makes for much better stories that way.
C- I did just see you whip a tv at a wall like, 3 months ago
S- Yeah, but that was to break the awkwardness of the fight that had just happened.
C- What fight?
S- The awkward scuffle between Ian and the guy that knocked him into our drum kit.
C- Haaaaaaa oh right. Remember when someone did a drive by on the party next door on a scooter with a BB gun?!
S- I totally forgot about that. Remember when I kept threatening to blow that guy in the bunny costume? And eventually he jumped in the trunk of a Volkswagen golf that randomly was driving by?
C- I don’t even remember a guy in a bunny costume, I do remember the guy in the bee costume. Talk to me about when you played Foo Fest.
S- We spent the entire time thanking Andrew W.K. for opening White Load fest. It was silly but they offered us $100 and deli meat tray. Little did they know we would have said yes just at meat tray.
C- So White Load’s guarantee is a deli meat tray?
S- Yes, It’s in our rider.
C- You’ve been a band since 2007, how many releases do you have? Also, I heard that you made a fake release and someone wrote about it on a blog, and then people went nuts trying to find a record that didn’t exist….true?
S- We have 4 7″ EPs (one being a fake bootleg live Japanese record) and a full length LP “Wayne’s World 3 b/w Godfather 4″ on Load Records. The fake release you are thinking of was a result of us accidentally leaving a tape recorder on at practice while we spent the entire time arguing over/singing Drew Carey Show theme songs. Ian thought it would be funny to post it on our website as a joke as an upcoming 7” for Horriblefest called “Cleveland Tuxedo” and Ken Rock contacted us requesting a copy. Not sure how many people got excited over it, but goofing one person is enough for me.
C- Were you fighting over the fact that there are not one but two Drew Carey Show theme songs?
S- No, the fact that there are THREE themes, stupid. One of the few band arguments that I’ve ever won.
C- Wait what is the third? I am such a dummy!
S- CLEVELAND ROCKS
C- Duh, Then the one Drew Carey sings…
S- …and 5 o’clock world!
C- Oh crap, you’re right! I mean, not that I thought you were lying.
S- This all spawned from a Drew Carey Show T-shirt that I bought to wear to Horriblefest as a rib on Cleveland. I kept referring to the Drew Carey shirt as my Cleveland Tuxedo, and then the accidental recording happened, so it all threw itself together.
C- We just had a similar fight at White Pages practice but we are all dummies because none of us realized the 3rd theme song.
S- And that is why we are the champion White band.
C- We’ll see about that! So, the cover of your LP is actually the cover of “Beauty and the Beat” by the Go-Go’s, but with a special touch added…
S- Most reviewers comment on it saying that we disgraced their album or that we must really hate the Go-Go’s. Truth is we are all HUGE Go-Go’s fans and thought it would be a hilarious homage and very stupid. Over anything else, we strive to be fucking stupid in everything we do. Ian and I got drunk and cut-and-pasted over a Go-Go’s record the night before the artwork was due. Actually, the real reason for that artwork was simply cause we never believed Load Records when they said they wanted to put out our full length, so everything we did for that record was sort of pushing buttons to see if he was serious, the stupid artwork, the fact that the b-side is just us rerecording the a-side after 5 hours of drinking (it’s not a live set like most reviews claim).
C- Any future releases that we can look forward to?
S- Bat Shit Records is putting out a 12″ single which will be “(Theme From) White Load/Ugly Wires b/w Ugly Wires/(Theme From) White Load”, which is a spaghetti western about us and an unused song from our first demo. Look for another LP in the fall.
C- White Load are a three piece, guitar, vocal, and drums. How has this affected the kind of songs you write?
S- It’s made them simple, like punk. We auditioned a bassist once or twice and decided that we don’t function with a 4th member. Lack of playing ability was also a huge factor in that decision early on. A lack of a bassist has put limits on our songwriting but ultimately helped shape the sloppy, straightforward, treble-heavy fuckery that we sought out for. I can’t stress the lack of playing ability enough, though. People were convinced we were playing bad as a joke for at least the first year. Friends would come up to us after our sets to say “You are so bad you’re good!”
C- Name some bands you’ve been into lately!
S- This answer would be drastically different for each member, but I’ve been really into Frantix, Inservibles, School Jerks, Homostupids, Vaginors, Bad Noids, Rot Shit, Human Mess.
C- What interests you other than music?
S- Pro wrestling, pinball, hockey, Robocop.
C- I saw a screening of Robocop 3 in a theater full of people who won a contest from Indian motorcycles and from (radio station) WAAF.
S- That’s a bizarre situation! Robocop 3 was pretty bad and killed the series, but Robocop 1 is a masterpiece of lewd gore and dystopian sarcasm, 2 was a little more kid friendly but still good, but Clarence Boddicker is the greatest villain of all time, plus he later was Red Forman in That 70s Show.
C- Well then! And how different do you think your life would be if you never started playing music/being in a band?
S- If I wasn’t in a band, i’d probably just waste more time watching The Simpsons than I already do.
C- Anything else you wanna say to people?
S- Play every show like you’re in Cleveland.