New Artist of the Day: Suede Razors

Suede Razors are a new band from the San Francisco’s Bay area formed by members of Harrington Saints, Hounds & Harlots, Sydney Ducks. They combine elements from several disparate genres related to 70s punk rock which results in a hard-hitting brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Louder Than War’s Hannah McFaull recently fired off some questions to them which band members Mike (bass) and Darrel (vocals) were kind enough to answer.

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Louder Than War: Hello boys. How are you?

Mike: Hello! We’re doing great! We’re actually sitting in the studio laying down guitar tracks for our upcoming new single! Nothing beats hanging out with your friends and making good music!

Who are Suede Razors then and why do your mugs look familiar?

M: We are four pals from the Bay Area who have all played in a number of bands and have known each other through music and mutual friends for many years now. The familiar faces may be due to Darrel being the front-man of HARRINGTON SAINTS, Bryan playing guitar in HOUNDS & HARLOTS and me (Mike) playing bass in SYDNEY DUCKS. Our drummer Eric has also played in many bands in the past as well, but none in the Bay Area recently.

How did this all come about? Who had the idea of the four of you joining forces?

M: If memory serves me correctly, I had been talking to Bryan at a Hard Skin show here in San Francisco about 2 years ago and just got an impression that we would be into a lot of similar things musically. And I had been talking with Eric for quite some time even before that about trying to play music together… So when things fell into place with Bryan, Eric was the first choice for the drummer for this new project. And Darrel was a perfect fit as well since we are all friends and he has such a great voice and amazing stage presence!

The name sounds like it came from an Oi! buzzword band name generator. Tell me there’s some meaning behind this…

M: This is a question for Darrel to expand on, but the idea was the juxtaposition of the more mellow and “post-skinhead” era of ‘suedeheads’ and their 70s music, yet still with an edge and element of rock ’n’ roll danger!
 … Does that sound about right Darrel?

Darrel: Yeah, but I do have an Oi! band name generator at home.

So we’re going with dangerous, mellow, rock ’n’ roll? Seriously, who would you compare your sound to? Name one band currently making music and one band no longer making music.

M: Haha. Well, all rock ‘n’ roll is dangerous by nature now, isn’t it? In all seriousness though, a couple of bands that we definitely discussed as a blue-print for this new band were Giuda (current band) and Slade (old band). Not necessarily that we wanted to try to sound just like them, but that we wanted to try to put our own spin on rock ‘n’ roll like both of those bands did, and are still doing in Giuda’s case!

Your first single ‘Here She Comes’ b/w ‘Longshot Kid’ was released at the beginning of January. Was it weird writing with new people again? Did it feel like you were having an illicit affair?

M: Haha… That really depends on who you ask I suppose. For me, Sydney Ducks has kind of run its course for various reasons and we just get together when time allows now to try to play the odd show. For Eric, he was not playing in a band at the time, so for us we are in the clear. Bryan and Darrel are still pretty active in their other bands and we respect that those bands are the priority for those guys, so we just try to be as productive as we can but maintain the emphasis on Suede Razors as being a “side project” that is for fun, but we are still taking it seriously in regards to writing good songs and hopefully playing some good shows whenever possible.

Who is the inspiration behind the song?

M: Well… This question has many answers potentially! First and foremost, it is a little bit of the Bon Scott playbook to write a rock ‘n’ roll song about women in general. There is no particular one person that this song is about, but an amalgamation of people any of us may have known over the years… And most importantly “All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental”.

Who would you be most impressed by, if you heard they liked the single?

M: Wow. Tough question. I would be most flattered to learn that someone John Peel liked the Suede Razors since he was such an incredibly influential person over so many genres of music that shaped my life. But since he is departed and never going to hear us, I would be happy to know that some of our musical ‘peers’ were into what we are doing, like CockSParrer, Slaughter & The Dogs, Argy Bargy, etc.

I would like to think that this release wasn’t a one off. Is there a plan for a full length?

M: ‘Here She Comes’/’Longshot Kid’ will definitely not be a one-off! We are currently recording for our 2nd single. That one will be called ‘Rubies & Pearls’/‘My City’ and should hopefully be out in early May. As for a full-length, we have no plans for that anytime soon. We are going to put out as many 7” singles with as many labels as possible until no more labels want to work with us!

You haven’t played live as a band yet. What’s stopping you?

M: Well… Unfortunately our debut show was meant to be opening for Slaughter & The Dogs here in San Francisco next month, but that plan was de-railed when SATD had to post-pone their tour unfortunately. As of this moment, we have no shows planned, but we are all looking forward to hitting the stage!

Finally, Big Sam has to go, right?

M: Personally… I would always suggest trying to establish stability in a club and NOT sack a manager unless absolutely necessary. But then again, I’m a Gooner and we now have the longest serving manager in the Prem!

D: You’re asking a Gooner? No, I still like Big Sam. We need some more hustle, heart and a new goalie wouldn’t hurt.

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Find Suede Razors are on Facebook.

If you want to support Suede Razors by picking up a copy of “Here She Comes / Longshot Kid.” then head off right here.

All words by Hannah McFaull. More work by Hannah on Louder Than War can be found here. Hannah’s blog, An EastEnd Girl: Musings From E3 is here.

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