Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Alex Kerns Drummer/ Vocalist of Lemuria and Art Of The Underground head honc

I've had the pleasure to be in contact with Alex over a certian number of years. Him living in Buffalo, NY and me living in Rochester, NY we ran into each other pretty often. Alex has always been a very sincere and hard working individual within the Buffalo hardcore/punk community, whether he was booking shows, running/owning a record store/ venue, playing in bands. SO with Alex being a very passionate and genuine punk I thought it would be great to ask hime some questions about tour life. Alex still keeps himself insanely busy with Lemuria and Art Of The Underground Records.

1- You've been in a few different types of bands, all based in the D.I.Y ethic, what is one of the most rewarding parts of being in a touring D.I.Y band at this point in time?

- It's a very rewarding feeling when you arrive to a city that you've never lived in and you feel at ease, and nobody treats you like a stranger because you've been rolling through frequently. Every band I've played in fits into a different sub-genre of punk which makes booking shows for my current band very interesting because we play poppy indie tunes and we'll be on the same show with brutal grind, folk punk and youth crew bands. It definitely helps the shows on tour feel less monotonous and it helps me stay connected and up to date on what is occurring in the DIY scene at the moment.

2- Besides playing shows what else do you look forward to on tour?

- Everyone in the band is always concerned about what they're going to order at our favorite restaurants in each city. Do we play it safe and get what we always get because we can only get it once a year and we know we love it, or do we take a risk and try something new. Any opportunity to visit regional historic sites is a bonus. I'm always curious to become acquainted with local dialect and slang. For example, in Wisconsin "bubbler" is another word for a drinking fountain. Then again, somebody could've totally been pulling my chain.

3- What is the longest streak you have gone without changing your clothes while on the road?

- I think the first tour I ever went on back when I was playing in The Young Ones I might have went the whole month without changing anything but my underwear. I was 16 at the time. It's now a decade later and my social skills have developed a little to recognize what the dirty looks in the van mean.

4- So Lemuria has gotten to be a part of some pretty wild fest's in the recent years, what is one that stands out in your mind?

- The Fest in Gainesville, FL is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. People from all over the world travel to it, and you can't take more than a dozen steps without running into somebody you want to catch up with. Berea Fest is also a good time, which is right out side of Cleveland. It's always the pinnacle of my summer. This is For You Fest is excellent because it refreshes me on today's best hardcore. I'm looking forward to this years Best Friends Day in Richmond because I think we're playing the day that is actually at a waterpark, which will be pretty unreal.

5- The day before tour, what's that like for you? Can you describe it?

- It's terrible. That was actually yesterday for me. I run a record label called Art of the Underground and it's almost impossible for me to ever completely catch up on everything that I need to accomplish with it before I abandon it for the month. I always have somebody help with the mailorder aspect while I'm gone, which means I actually have to organize the distro in a catalog system that any person walking into it could understand. I always want to catch up with my friends before I leave, but really all I have on my mind is a checklist of tasks where every time I cross one out, I think of two more to write down. Then I get in the van and I remember, "oh shit, i forgot...ah, fuck it".

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