None More Black have just completed their first ever tour of Europe. They enjoyed London so much that on the night of their Garage gig they failed to return to the venue until just five minutes before they were due on stage. Clearly, touring was designed for this lot. New venues. New cities. New countries. New girls at the front of the stage. Smart-ass guys in the crowd shouting “Play Aerosmith!” And so they did.

For most members of this band, touring is new, and exciting, and still fun. The members were gathered together by Jason Shevchuck only a short while after he quit the successful hardcore outfit Kid Dynamite to pursue a career in film making. Five drummers and three bassists later, None More Black now consists of Jason as lead, Joe on drums, Paul on bass and Andy on guitar. Their debut album 'File Under Black' has recently been released by Fat Wreck Chords.

PB: How did you enjoy tonight?

Paul: I had fun.

Joe: The reaction was totally unexpected. The first night of the tour someone actually yelled for Kid Dynamite.

P: Normally that happens in the first five minutes.

PB: Does that bother you?

P: It bothers Jason a little bit because we’re not Kid Dynamite. We’re a totally different band. It’s alright to an extent. Okay, it bothers us a little bit. It’s alright if you wanted to hear Kid Dynamite. They never played here, but we hear it every fucking day. It doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers Jason.

PB: Where have you been on this tour so far?

P: We played Munich in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and three shows here.

PB: Where are you going next:

P: TJ’s in Newport, Manchester, and then we’re going home.

PB: Is this the first time you’ve done a tour of Europe?

P: I’ve been here with my old band; Kill Your Idols. But it’s the first time for this group.

PB: How have you enjoyed it? Do you like England?

J: Yeah, it’s great. It’s been busy.

P: We didn’t get to do much today though.

PB: Do you like to have a look around the cities when you tour?

J: Absolutely. I’ve never been here before. I love to have a look at all the pretty ladies. I’m married by the way! But yeah, it’s fun to see things you only see or hear about in the movies. That’s the reason why we do this, isn’t it ?

PB: Have you done any touristy things?

J: Yeah! We went to Piccadilly Circus today. And we went on the big red bus.

P: Last time I was here we walked on the London Tower Bridge. It was awesome. I wish we had time to do that shit today.

J: We’ve done a whole lot of touristy stuff actually. We went to Amsterdam and had a look at all the pretty ladies. Er, what else would you call touristy?

P: We’ve been eating a lot.

J: We went to a dance club in Germany and watched heavy metal kids bang their heads. What am I talking about? I banged my head. I’m a heavy metal kid. We went to a head banging party. It was fun. We go to a show every night, and you just can’t beat it. You get to see new towns and new people. It’s fun.

PB: Have you got a favourite venue?

P: CBGB’s in New York City.

PB: Going back to Kid Dynamite. What do you think went wrong? Was it mainly because Jason left to go to film school

P: There’s a lot of things, like one of them was him going back to school, but also internal band stuff like I think they were going to fast for their own good, so it caught up with them in the end. A lot of people have asked me if I’m worried that Jason might leave this band to concentrate on his film career. But it’s not like he quit the band to aim for Hollywood, you know. It’s what he does for a living. Whether he’s in a band or not, he edits films and shoots commercials and stuff.

PB: Would you say his main ambitions lie in the film industry, or in the music industry?

P: I’d say the music one. When he’s home, he works in a 9-5 job and does editing, but he writes music because he enjoys it. That’s like if I like to draw. Nine times out of ten I might not become a famous artist, but I’d still try.

PB : How did you join the band, Paul?

P: I joined the band a year and a half ago. When I joined they hadn’t released a record yet, but Jason was like “I have the whole record written. It’s ready to go. Plus I pretty much have the next record ready as well.” He just had that many songs.

PB: Did he write the songs with the intention of forming a band?

P: I don’t think he did at the beginning. It was just something he enjoyed doing. He started out playing a few of his songs with his roommate. Then it just sort of grew into this.

PB: You’ve had a lot of line-up changes. What happened there?
P: Yes, I am the third bassist. When I joined it was me, Jason, his brother on guitar, and his friend Mike playing on the drums. I think they only played five or six shows like that. That period was really only a warm-up. They never really toured, or released anything big. Then we kicked out the drummer.

PB: Why was that?

P: He was really young and sort of clueless. So, we got another drummer. Then we lost Jason’s brother. I guess you just know when you’re not totally happy as a band, and you got to do something about it until you get a combination that works. And that’s what we did.

PB: So what does it take to become a member of None More Black?

P: Obviously not looks. You have to know how to play snaps! I heard the demos that Jason recorded at the time, and I just emailed him. I was like “Dude, send me a copy of those demos. They were just awesome.” I just said “Do you want me to be the bass player?” It just kind of worked out.

PB: Do you think you have to have certain personalities?

P: Me and Joe get on like girls.

J: We’re complete idiots.

P: We’re comic relief. We all have our own personalities. We’re all different. And luckily it all sort of clicks.

PB: And you didn’t get on with the others?

P: I really wanted to kill somebody. No, I don’t have any bad feelings, I just it wasn’t right.

PB: What made you chose Fat Wreck as a record label?

P: They chose us pretty much. We were getting calls from a bunch of labels. Two of them, which I don’t want to talk shit about…

PB: Who?

P: Okay, I’ll tell you [guess that means all of you]. Drive-thru and Vagrant called as up. That is, labels A and B called us up (cough, cough) and showed interest. They just thought “Oh, guy from Kid Dynamite is in a band and there’s a bit of a buzz. They both did the same thing; showed interest and we were deciding what we were going to do. But they just jerked us around. One guys was like “I’m in New York, let’s have meeting.” And then when he’s in New York he’d say “Oh, I have to cancel. Let’s make it next month.” Same with the other guys. If they wanted to put a record out we’d have said “Hey, we want to do it.” Fat Mike just called Jason. He was on vacation in the Caribbean. He was just like “Hi, this is Fat Mike. I really like your band. I want to put your record out. I’m on vacation. I’ll call you when I get back Monday.” Monday night he called Jason and said “Hey, I want to put your record out.” And we were like “Alright!.”

J: I don’t think you can say no to Fat Mike.

P: He’s pretty cool. I mean, I don’t think we sound like other Fat Wreck bands. They got a few different sounding bands though like Against Me or Sick Of It All. If I had to chose between Fat Wreck and my family, I’d settle for Fat Wreck definitely.

PB: How do you feel about your album?

P: I wouldn’t buy it. I hate it. I’m kidding, just kidding. We joke around a lot, don’t mind us.

J: Edit. Edit. Edit.

P: I’ll sit down with you later, and we’ll just go through the whole tape together. Yeah, I’m happy with it. We recorded it and it came together pretty quick, but I like it. I like it a lot. It’s been selling pretty good I think. I know a lot of good friends of mine weren’t expecting it to be as poppy and melodic. A lot of people were just expecting another Kid Dynamite.

PB: Was it poppier on purpose; as a way of appealing to a wider audience?

P: Well, we’re not doing the synchronized guitar jumping.

J: We’re not poppy. We’re not pop. I hate the idea that American rock music is considered to be poppy. It should still be dangerous. I always considered None More Black as a rock band, not a hardcore band, not a punk band, but a rock band. We play rock’n’roll music. We’re from America. We should be more dangerous. We’re not poppy or friendly.

P: Yeah, we carry knives.

J: We put barbed wire up on stage.

P: Seriously, it’s not pop punk at all. I hate to use the word rock, but it’s closer to that.

PB: What can we expect from your next ?

P: A lot of singing!

J: A lot of rock’n’roll.

P: A lot of sitars. Jason went to India for about six months…

J: Bongos.

[A dozen more bizarre instruments follow. Use your imagination]

P: The thing is when I joined the band I heard all the songs. He gave me pretty much all the songs for the record. I was able to listen to it coming from more of a fan perspective. At the same time it was still the kind of music that I liked. When I was listening to the new shit I just felt like it was a natural progression. It’s not extremely different. It doesn’t sound like a totally different band but it’s hard to explain. I can’t compare it to anything. I’d say it’s a mixture of Greenday meets Queens of the Stone Age meets Elvis Costello. It’s just a lot of influences. Since the first record we’ve been listening to a lot of different shit.

J: Like Gorky Park. It’s an old band from Russia. Go buy their record. It’s fantastic.

P: I’d say about thirteen years ago there were some big benefit gigs in Russia. They had bands like the Scorpions; a bunch of big bands. We bought that shit off Cable to watch it. It was a huge concert. They had a metal band and this cheesy rock band from Russia called Gorky Park. I thought it was cool. I never bought the record or anything, but I remember that song.
J: They sing in a kind of broken English.

P: There’s a movie called Gorky Park. I don’t know what it’s about…

PB: Do you like a lot of Russian stuff? What about Tatu?

P: They’re Russian are they? They’re stupid, stupid.

J: What is it about?

P: It’s just these two girls, lesbians. It’s some bad techno shit.

J: No idea.

P: Good. I don’t like that they use their looks and the fact that they’re lesbians to sell records. And it’s shit music. If I heard it on the radio I’d skip it. Just because of the way that they look and what they do in their videos.

PB: What bands are they listening to at the moment?

P: I’ll list a couple of the most recent ones, but I just fill my i-pod up with like forty records. Thought it’s a really controversial record to like, I really like the new Metallica. Uhm, Bryan Adams.

J: Bryan Adams is absolutely fabulous.

P: A band from the States called Holier Than Thou

J: Mars Volta.

P: I like the new Incubus record. A band from Sweden called Skit System. Radiohead.

PB: What can we expect from you in the future?

P: We have no future.

J: Uhm, lots of truck driving and doughnuts for me probably. We’re going to go home and go to work, and record our new record.

PB: Any last words?

P: I haven’t showered in three days!

J: I think that sums it up.














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