The Runnamucks are a 3-piece from Casselberry, Florida, which is a suburb of Orlando. The trio take unmistakable influences from bands like GANG GREEN and the NEOs and when they said they might be in the area I was more than happy to have them play on the radio show. The played here on Monday April 15th, but we weren't able to get this recording on-air until August 4th. Here is a transcript of our conversation.
Where is Casselberry Florida ? Are you near any other scenes in Florida ? If so, who are the bands that you play with ?
Mike (M): Right next to Orlando, Florida.
Is there a scene in Orlando?
Josh (J): Well kind of. There is a bunch of shitty bands around there. What do we have around there ?
M: We got DISASTER SQUAD.
J: No SPIT VALVES, a really good ska band. I don't know, there is nothing around there.
So what do you guys do for shows in terms of playing ? Do you guys ever play any shows or do you go to another scene ?
M: We go to another city. We play Brandon a lot.
J: Yeah, we play at Sound Idea in Brandon. For a while there was a really cool, like really trashy bar that we would play at all the time, that 12 year old kids could get away with drinking at probably, but that didn't last too long. It was called Rumours Lounge.
Who is in the band and what do you play ?
M: Mike Quinnan, bass.
Mat (Mt): Mat Greaven, drums.
J: Joshua Dobbs, guitar.
And have any of you played in bands prior to the RUNNAMUCKS ?
M: First time band for all of us.
How did the RUNNAMUCKS form ?
J: Me and Mike were 15 and I met him in gym class when I was a freshman in high school and I had always been trying to write songs and stuff like that and I had been getting right into punk rock - BLACK FLAG and stuff like that - and basically we just started going over to each other's houses and writing a bunch of garbage, basically and then Mike had known Mat since they were in kindergarten together and one day me and Mike were trying to play some crappy song - it was our first song that we wrote called "I Can't Wait to Get Old" - there was this snare drum in the corner of the room - and Mat just played along on the snare - and then after that Mat got a drum set and then we...
M: We made him pester his dad to buy him one.
Mt: Yeah. He is still disappointed that he bought me it.
J: And that's when this slop began.
Where did the name RUNNAMUCKS come from ?
J: I was just trying to think of stupid names with an "A" in it that you could maybe make an anarchy sign with (lots of laughter), and then Mike - come on I was 15 man - but then Mike said that was lame and so I lost that one, but then Mike's mom thought it was a clever name. She thought it was real cute. So we kept it.
Who do you consider influences for the RUNNAMUCKS sound ? I was reading all kinds of things on your website, but there are some things that are obvious. Who do you consider influences ?
M: When we started we just listened to BLACK FLAG and NIRVANA and stuff like that and I don't know. We listened to F.O.D. and the NEOs and DRI and stuff like that.
J: And MINOR THREAT. Stuff like that.
Mt: GANG GREEN.
I hear a lot of GANG GREEN in your stuff, especially with the drumming parts and how fast you pLay. You have that avalanche sound where it sounds like everything is destroying at an escalating pace, right.
M: We really just started playing like that because we didn't know how to play originally. We just tried to play as fast as we could.
J: Yeah, it's weird. We never heard....
It seems like it is really tough stuff to play.
M: We know how to play it a little bit.
J: What's weird is that we never heard of any kind of bands like that. It was just all Mat could do was alternate on the kick and snare and play the one-two beat and then like it just got faster and faster and then I met this kid, Jason, and then he was like "Oh man, you guys sounds like early 80's thrash" and he played me DRI and GANG GREEN and all this other stuff and that was kind of disappointing to hear that it had already been done to some effect, but hey it's good stuff.
Have other people described your sound ? What have you heard from other people ? How do other people describe you ?
Simon (S): Street Punk.
J: (Starts laughing and says facetiously) Yeah, a lot of people say it's street punk. It's that street punk sound.
M: (cracking up) Yeah it's kind of like the DROPKICK MURPHYs.
Well if someone was to come up to you and ask you what do you sound like, what would you tell them, especially somebody from the scene...somebody who might know something about hardcore, what would you say ?
J: Yeah, I would just say thrash. People with any kind of brains on their shoulders would say that we sound like DRI or GANG GREEN or whatever and then other people will say this streetpunk nonsense.
Yeah that's fuckin' weird.
J: You know we were born on the streets and all, but you know....
S: I thought you guys were more emo.
J: Well two of us wear glasses, you know.
Can you tell me about your releases ? There is an ep that hasn't come out, there is an ep that has come out. I have seen the ep that has come out. Maybe you could tell us a bit about your discography, you know, some of the things that you have recorded.
J: We had a demo in '97 that was really prematurely made. It was called "Punk Rock Dirtheads". And then later in '97 we made tried to record a 7". It was at this record store and they were doing recordings on a 16-track for $10/hour, but the dude was too coked up all the time and didn't know what the hell he was doing, so lots of complications happened that never ended up coming out. Then in '98, we recorded again and we came out with this ep that was called "My Fellow Victims" and then we later re-packaged it and we were not really satisfied with it.
That was initially in a FedEx envelope.
J: Yeah, it was in a FedEx sleeve.
What was the deal with that ? Was it a makeshift cover and then you changed the cover or....?
J: That was the real cover.
M: We couldn't get anyone to distro it or anything.
J: Yeah, nobody would distro it with that packaging and then I just didn't like the insert stuff anymore and we just forgot about that.
S: That was a good record though. I remember Stephe playing it on the radio show.
Yeah I loved it.
But then you re-did it.
J: We just re-did the cover. We never...we were real slackers. We still have a bunch of those things. That was from '99 that it got pressed. Actually we played our show where we released this thing and we didn't play again for like 6 months. But then the newest CD is called "On The Brink" and we recorded that in May of last year. That's our best release. (switches to a deep salesman voice) But the upcoming stuff is even better.
I was reading on your website that you guys have a 4-track. You don't do all your recordings on that because your recordings sound really good.
J: Yeah, just the demo is on the 4-track.
The releases up until now have been your own releases. They are DIY releases. How come you stick to doing your own stuff. I mean it seems like you could be out on some bigger labels.
M: We just can't get on any labels. We are really sick of doing it all.
J: It's cool but it is a real pain in the ass. It is cool to try and distro your stuff, but I don't have very much patience for it anymore, after sending out tons of stuff and never getting any responses or people just saying...
It is a lot of work. I mean you have to be really committed to it, but if you are doing music as well, it kind of takes you away from writing music and whatever else.
J: Our setting up of this whole tour that we just did, I was like a slave to the computer for two months. I barely got to play guitar. Just so we could go out for 6 weeks. But this is our first tour.
S: Have you played any big shows ?
J: We got to play with MUNICIPAL WASTE a couple of times. And they are a shredding band. We got to play with FAT DAY from Boston.
Oh yeah, what was that like ?
J: They are awesome. Amazing band.
Mt: The INDEPENDENTS....
J: Yeah some stupid ska band.
Your new recording, does it have a name ? Is it going to come out soon ? Are you working on recording ?
M: We got like half the songs.
So your still writing ?
M: It'll probably be another 6 months or so.
Mt: Yeah, we're slackers.
J: It is going to be called "Of a Different Breed" whenever it comes out.
Can you explain to us the concept of "pizzatarian" ? It seems to be something that our radio show follows pretty strictly, but I am just checking the rules to see what they are.
J: Well it is just that you have to eat pizza everyday.
M: Every single day.
Mt: EVERY single day.
In terms of lyrics, what are some of the things you sing about ?
J: I sing about the working class (loads of laughter), the street punk, how punks not dead. Naw, I don't know I just like singing about wankers, no I just sing about the stuff that pisses me off. You know personal stuff, just whatever.
What are some of your song titles that might reflect some of the things you sing about?
J: "The Take" and "33rd Street Blues" that is a song about me and Mike committing grand theft and then going to jail for it and that was pretty shitty.
Is it a real story ?
J: Yeah, it's a true story.
What happened ?
J: Well me and Mike, we went into a Warehouse Music and we just went out with armloads of CDs. We ran away and then there was this girl that was our getaway driver and she did a really bad job so we ended up....somebody saw the licence plate number and then we got turned in.
M: Yeah there was 3 of us and we each had 15 CDs a piece, so they put them all together and counted it as grand theft. So we all got grand theft charges.
J: We got away with it once before in Atlanta, so we got cocky. We were like "Oh we can do this again". I don't steal anymore. It is just a bad idea. Other songs. There is a song called "Grow Some Fucking Balls". It's about this kid that called the cops on my - this is another law story - he called the cops on Mike becasue Mike pointed a BB Gun at him and the kid called the cops and told them it was a real gun and Mike got throw in jail for that.
Holy shit. How many times have you guys been in jail ?
J: Just once for me and a couple of times for Mike.
Mt: Once for me.
What's your story ?
J: Yeah, this guy is a hippy.
I'm gonna ask maybe if each of you could tell me what your favourite RUNNAMUCKS song is from a lyrical standpoint and why ? Do you guys know what he sings about ?
M: I do.
Mt: I really don't pay attention to what he sings about. (laughter)
M: Probably "The Take" and "33rd Street Blues".
J: My favourite one is this one is called "Of a Different Breed" which is like one of the newer ones that we made. It's not out on anything yet. It is just about how people... I feel it is about our band basically and about us getting together and how when I was like 15, I was pretty much felt alone and then I meet these other guys who seemed to have the same viewpoint on things and even still it seems like we are set apart from everybody else. You go to shows and everybody else looks at us like we are... We showed up at places and people...you stereotypical fuckin' mohawk people are taking a look at us and are like "Who the hell are these guys ?", but then we will play and they will look at us differently after that.
M: It's kind of about street punks (laughter). That's my favourite one. It's just about our band basically and not being like everybody else. Fuck everybody else.
You guys seem to be set apart from your local scene or whatever. Some of the stories on your website about like smearing shit on yourselves and basically having people stand off from you
J: Yeah, that will set you apart from other people alright.
It can earn you a reputation, I think. But is that also the same musically....you sound amazing in terms of a renaissance thrash kind of a band. I don't know but it doesn't sound like anybody is doing that kind of stuff down from Florida. It doesn't sound like you have had much luck hooking up with some of these bands, but yet I know they are out there.
S: I would have thought that Bob Suren would be all over you guys.
J: He puts on really good shows for us. He's a cool dude.
So there is a little bit of support, maybe ?
J: Oh yeah, there is support.
M: Not in Orlando, but Sound Idea, that guy is cool.
Simon: OTOPHOBIA are from down there. MURDER SUICIDE PACT.
J: Yeah MURDER SUICIDE PACT, but we have never played with them.
I am trying to figure out where you guys fit in.
J: We don't, that's the problem. Against All Authority dude, that's the stuff.
M: Shyster. (more laughter)
Maybe as a summing comment, what do you guys hope to accomplish as a band, in general, or do you just want to have fun ?
M: Take over the world. (laughter) Bring pizzaterianism to all.
Mt: Yeah, I am with that one. And break even with our DIY releases. (more laughter)
J: Well I just wanna live the rock and roll lifestyle. I would like to make more people you know...going out and playing and touring around it seems like it has opened some people's eyes that there is still music with energy out there and I would like to let people know that and then just ...I would like to try and make people realize that they can do things on their own. They don't have to follow the certain way things are done in terms of music. I just wanna make other people have fun in doing it. Get people to let loose, fuckin' jump in the circle pit - even though nobody does that anymore -
Yeah go nuts.
S: What do you guys do during spring break ?
J: Spring Break, you know, we get chicks, we drink beer off their asses and stuff like that. (laughter) Keg stands, beer bongs. We go to Daytona beach.
Jonah: You guys should go play Disney World and set up in the parking lot.
J: That would be good. That is the best part about Orlando - Disney World.
Mt: You always have to ride "It's a Small World". (laughter)