BANDSPEAK, BOSTON/NE BANDS, Interview

Talking w/ New Bedford’s Wire Lines

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I have been friends with Kevin Grant for about 27 years, since he was a teenager in love with punk rock and singing in the New Bedford powerhouse known as Gaskill. Since then he has lent his powerful singing voice, visceral lyrics and spellbinding stage presence to a myriad of Boston and Providence groups. I was stoked to catch up with him and talk about his newest band Wire Lines.

Hassle:
Hello, comrade. Who is in the band and what do they play?

Kevin:
Ryan Parker plays the bass guitar, Jeremy Medeiros plays the electric guitar, Ted Ilsley plays the drums and Kevin Grant plays the microphone and the ballpoint pen.

Hassle:
How did the band get started, anyway?

Kevin:
Ryan Parker and I had been talking about starting a band for many, many years, but we were always tied up in different projects and the timing was never right. I also lived a couple hours away for a few years. Eventually the stars aligned and we were off and running. Jeremy was an obvious choice, Ryan has played with him off and on for a long time and we’ve all known each other since high school when they were both in Third Age. Ted had been recently drumming in another side project I was in and he’s a very fast and precise drummer, I wanted him to play right away.

Hassle:
Where did the name come from?

Kevin:
I keep a running list of band names and a couple of them were The Land Lines and The Rotary Phones. Those two choices morphed into Wire Lines. It references our power grid, our amplifiers, our electric guitars, the internet, our nervous systems, modern communication and the potential breakdown of all of these things. It also references that those things are facets of a single larger network. Ryan’s father was a lineworker as well, and it’s not unimportant when coincidences like that happen. The name is choosing you.



Hassle:

That’s pretty wild. What are some other projects the members are involved with and used to be with?

Kevin:
I was in The Hidden, The Judo Heirs, Gaskill and Blackhouse. Ted was in Villainer and Lifers. Ryan was in Daltonic, Some Kind of Hate, Holy Hands (still current) and Supermachiner. Jeremy was in Bury the Needle and Daltonic. This is leaving out about 100 other bands we were all in but you get the picture.

Hassle:
What has the band been up to during covid?

Kevin:
When Covid hit we had about half an album written and had been looking to record in June but had no dates booked. I bought a 4 track and started making demos at home, two of those songs ended up on the album. Jeremy and Ryan were also writing away as usual, so when the pandemic numbers improved for a bit in the late summer we did some socially distant practices and cracked down on the new material. We managed to book studio time for last November with Alex Garcia-Rivera and we got them all down on 2” tape and went back into Covid seclusion. The album is called Harvest Verses, it’s been out online for a bit but will be out on clear, opaque blue and opaque green vinyl in a couple months via Blind Rage Records. The band has recently begun practicing without me and I’ll be joining them again in a couple weeks once my vaccine kicks in. We are already writing for the next record. We also had a huge list of killer shows booked that of course went right into the wood chipper but we are going to come out swinging when it’s sensible to do so.

Hassle:
That sounds great. Kevin, thank you so much. Hopefully we will all see you soon!

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