No thanks to some, the United States has taken a diplomatic battering in Europe over recent months. Memphis punks Ex-Cult are currently in the Euro Zone doing some battering of their own with their charged rock n roll that takes elements of post punk and general argy bargey.
Following their latest album Negative Growth which was recorded by frontman Chris Shaw's GØGGS bandmate Ty Segall in Los Angeles, the band have just released new single "Blurry" especially for their European jaunt. Released on German label Red Lounge Records the two tracks blaze with ferocious anti-moron sentiment.
We sent Shaw some questions about the tour and his new life in Los Angeles.
Noisey: Blurry can have many different meanings. What is this track alluding to?
Chris Shaw: Blurry is a word that I associate with being worn down, tired, and not all there, but not fully fucked.
What is the best thing about shows in Europe?
Believe it or not this is our first Euro tour. We've been asked to come over for the past four years, but we wanted to wait until the time was right. Negative Growth hadn't had a lot of touring around it, so I felt like a Euro victory lap was in order. I'm stoked to go to Spain, not stoked on explaining to people that no one I know likes or voted for Trump.
You now live in Los Angeles and have a swimming pool. What do your friends in Memphis think of all this?
I don't know actually. Besides the members of Ex-Cult and a few close friends, I don't really keep up with what's happening in Memphis. This is not for any reason other than I think it would be weird to keep tabs on people and places I know longer interact with.
I assume some people think I moved to LA to "make it" but that's not why I moved, shit technically I don't even have a job. Sixteen years in one city is a long ass time. After getting my pay cut in half at my newspaper editor job and going through a divorce, I decided it was time to peace out. I haven't regretted that decision at all, in fact I wake up every morning and say, "fuck yeah."
What's the best thing about living in LA?
The beach, the Mexican food and the weather. Also being able to go see Wire, The Damned, Destruction Unit and Power Trip in the same week. If you like music it's a pretty sick spot.
You played a number of shows with Power. You seem to get along well with the Australians.
Touring with Power was fucking sick. I liked their album so much I bought two copies when it came out so I could give one to a friend. When we got offered the tour of them opening for us I was stoked. I actually told Larry from In the Red about Power, and now he just re-released their album. So I guess you could add A&R to my resume. Joking aside, they killed it every night and they were in such high spirits that it was infectious.
Australians and people from the southern US are pretty similar when it comes to delinquent behaviour, so it makes sense that one freak would enjoy the company of another. Shout out to the dudes in Low Life and Rat Boy too.
'Blurry' is out on Red Lounge Records.
Ex-Cult Do Europe:
April 19 - Paris at Espace B
April 20 - Rouen at Le 106
April 21 - Lorient at Le Galion
April 22 - Tourney at Watermoulin
April 23 - Liege at KulturA
April 24 - Berlin
April 25 - Munster at Gleis22
April 26 - Hamburg at Hafenklang
April 27 - Groningen (NL) @ Vera
April 28 Eindhoven (NL) @ Stroomhuisje
April 29 Amsterdam (NL) @ Paradiso Bovenzaal
April 30 Brussel (BE) @ Magasin 4
Image: Denée Petracek