Gut Reactions: Taking Hardcore Stage-Side


Photo of the Gut Reactions courtesy of the band

Photo of Gut Reactions courtesy of the band

 Words by Erin Wolf

Hardcore today isn’t your older brother’s hardcore: the days of Minor Threat and cold-sweating in someone’s basement watching a bunch of twelve year-olds vigorously thrash their guitars and drum kits into submission and screaming until they spit blood are not a distant memory, but the scene is definitely morphing. Milwaukee’s Gut Reactions are taking their basement-core to the stage for a rare appearance as different genres are getting better and better at ‘making nice’ at shows. Hardcore never has been completely at home on the stage, but the Gut Reactions’ natural confidence makes it that much easier to seem at ease next to bands they might not normally share a slab of concrete with. Gut Reactions are getting set to pair up hardcore with the underwater garage-rock of Rocktopus, the loud and drunk spinnings of the Get Drunk DJs and the odd phenomenon that is Nobunny, this Saturday at Mad Planet.

“The Ballad of Logan Potter”, Gut Reactions

There have been several different descriptions for Gut Reactions’ sound. One reviewer called your music “garbage rock”: is that a good thing?

“Garbage rock” sounds accurate. It’s a lot of loud music with Lee (vocals) yelling. It’s been a bit less “garbage-y” since Jake (bass) joined the band a year ago and started writing real songs with structure and stuff. Jake’s a good guy.

There are a lot of hardcore bands in Milwaukee — do you feel the need to make the extra effort to try and sound different/do anything different to make yourselves heard, or are you confident that interest is just something that builds naturally over time?

No extra effort is really made to stand out; we try to write songs that we like and play on fun shows with other bands that we like and hope it goes well.

“Yer So Cruel” got a lot of good press — where’d you record it?

It was recorded in the basement of Best House Ever House in Milwaukee by Mr. Paul Kalfahs, released on Kenrock Records out of Sweden (copies still available!).

This is one of the ‘biggest’ shows you’ve played in Milwaukee in terms of venue and publicity — would you rather play stages with a PA set-up and everything mic’d, or are you more comfortable with doing basement shows?

I think we’re definitely more comfortable in basements where we can interact with the audience more but the few times we’ve played bigger venues, it’s gone surprisingly well. Lee has yet to fall off a stage.

Razorcake described you as a band that’s the ‘life of the party’, more or less. If you were throwing a party and playing at it, who would you want to be there?

Truthdealer, friends, pets and the E Street Band.

What’s going on, detail-wise, with the ‘party’ at Mad Planet on the 7th?

Nobunny is the nation’s premier rabbit costume-wearing artist and always brings the party. Yolks are fun rock-n-roll from Chicago. Gut Reactions play second. Rocktopus and the Scallywags emerge from the sewers of Riverwest to kick the night off with some aquatic rock. Get Drunk DJs will be spinning ear-numbingly loud tunes between bands.

Gut Reactions, Rocktopus, Yolks Nobunny and the Get Drunk DJs take the stage at Mad Planet (533 E. Center) at 9 p.m. 21+


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Gut Reactions: Taking Hardcore Stage-Side”

  1. fanbelt Says:

    Wow, Paul Kalfahs was my music teacher at Morse Middle School in the ’90’s I wonder if it’s the same dude.

  2. Erin Says:

    weird. how many ‘paul kalfahs’ can exist? mke is really the smallest big city…

    hope everyone can make it out to the show: really good bands. i’m dying to see rocktopus. did anyone read the shepherd article on them by tea krulos? so awesome!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: